RUMONGE October 19th (ABP) – After six weeks of searching for human remains and other objects, witnesses of the crimes committed during the 1972 events, in southern Burundi, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), made on Friday October 16, an exhibition of witnesses to that sinister event at the provincial stadium of Rumonge (southwest), a check by ABP revealed.
During that mission, bones were excavated as well as clothes worn by the victims. An ecumenical prayer in memory of the victims was made by the parish priest of Rumonge before official ceremonies followed by speeches from the various persons high in authority who were present in that activity.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr. Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe who had honored those activities with his presence, praised the work of the TRC and congratulated the members of the said commission who give their all so that this activity leads to a best result. He also invoked the Almighty so that he could endow the members of the TRC with a special spirit because their mission requires sacrifices. He further called on the TRC to do everything possible to protect witnesses of crimes because, he said, there are tendencies to intimidate witnesses of facts to hide the truth of those tragic events.
Before closing his speech, the Speaker of the National Assembly asked the people to take that activity of the TRC as a lesson, so that this tragedy does not happen again, anywhere in Burundi.
In his welcome speech, the governor of Rumonge province, Mr. Consolateur Nitunga, indicated that security is currently guaranteed in all the communes, despite the short-term insecurity, which occurred in August.
Regarding the task already accomplished by the TRC, Mr. Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, chairman of that commission, indicated that mass graves have been identified in various places in the Rumonge commune. This is, as he specified, the mass grave discovered at Rumonge hospital where 497 human remains were exhumed, another discovery in the Gatete zone where 43 victims were buried and 94 human remains exhumed in a mass grave discovered in the Kigwena zone.
According to Mr. Ndayicariye, the exhumation work will continue, because the TRC has received information testifying to the existence of other mass graves throughout Rumonge province, he said.