Authorities in Rwanda have found new mass graves they say contain 5,400 bodies of genocide victims nearly a quarter-century after the 1994 bloodshed.
Naphtal Ahishakiye, executive secretary of genocide survivors’ organization Ibuka, told The Associated Press the bodies were exhumed from 26 mass graves in the capital’s Kicukiro district.
He said the discovery followed a tip from a man who heard about the graves as a child.
Other mass graves were found in April. The discoveries have been called the most significant in years in this East African nation still recovering from the killings of more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
Many Rwandans are shocked and saddened that community residents have kept quiet about the graves for so long. Houses had been built on top of the graves.
The government is “sensitizing people who have such information to voluntarily come forward and there have been cooperation and positive results,” Ahishakiye said, adding that a search for more graves in the same district continues.
Ibuka officials say the bodies will be given a decent burial.
During the genocide, roadblocks manned by Hutu militias were established in districts near the sites where the mass graves have been discovered.
“I keep asking myself why we should forgive these killers because they are ungrateful and cannot have remorse,” Dan Gasasira, who lost a family member in the genocide, told the AP.