Mass Grave from Burundi Ethnic Civil War Massacre Opened to the Public

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A mass grave has been opened to the public in Burundi’s main city, Bujumbura, believed to contain the remains of hundreds of people killed in clashes following the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye.

The killing of Mr Ndadaye, the country’s first elected Hutu president, triggered a brutal ethnic civil war in 1993 between the minority Tutsi-dominated army and mainly Hutu rebel groups.

More than 300,000 people died in the 12-year war. Excavation of the mass grave, located in Kamenge area north of Bujumbura, started in December 2019 and ended on Sunday.It was opened to the public on Monday where the garments and IDs of those found can be seen on display.

The vice-chair of the Burundi Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, Noah Clément Ninziza, told the BBC that the remains of at least 250 people were found in the grave. “Some [people] have recognised their kin in the remains; people were crying, there was shock,” Mr Ninziza said.

The commission, which is expected to release a report on the findings of other mass graves later on Tuesday, is tasked with investigating the killings and reconciling the Hutus and Tutsis.

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