MUYINGA June 29th (ABP) – Human remains of more than 450 people killed in 1972 and thrown into mass graves were exhumed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in Muyinga province (north-eastern Burundi).
The announcement was made on Saturday in Buhinyuza commune by the deputy chairman of the TRC, Mr. Clément Noé Ninziza, during the provisional closing ceremonies of the activities of that commission in that province. The search for mass graves and exhumation mainly affected the communes of Mwakiro, Buhinyuza, Giteranyi and Butihinda.
For more than a month, the TRC team exhumed human remains for more than 450 people, including 262 victims in Mwakiro commune, 129 in Buhinyuza, 36 in Giteranyi and 25 in Butihinda, said the deputy chair of the TRC said.
In his speech, Mr. Ninziza went back to the gratuitous charges that weighed on people to be arrested before killing them, such as bewitching, non-payment of poll tax, to name but a few, according to investigations carried out by the TRC. This one, during its investigations, also got wind of the existence of other mass graves in Muyinga commune, which are posterior to the year 1972. These mass graves will be excavated when the time comes, he declared. He invited the executioners of the victims of 1972, who are still alive, to ask forgiveness from the bereaved families and to all Burundians in particular so that those executioners free themselves from the grip of the dark past which still weighs on them, but also on their descendants. The deputy chair of TRC further urged Burundians to avoid globalization. According to him, “it is not the ethnic group that kills, but poor political governance”. For him, the TRC seeks the truth, truth which does not dissociate the innocent from the executioner, but one which will make all Burundians free.
The first deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Mrs. Sabine Ntakarutimana, reviewed the genesis of the TRC-Burundi, the role and the mission assigned to that commission. According to her, the TRC does not have the mission of judging anyone, but that of investigating to find the truth about what really happened in 1972. She indicated that the National Assembly took the firm commitment to support the TRC in its mission to find the truth about the various bloody events that have grieved Burundi.
Note that those provisional closing ceremonies of the TRC’s activities in Muyinga began with an inter-faith prayer in memory of the victims and the mourning ceremony.