Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has said it lacks expertise to identify the victims following the discovery of a mass grave dating to the 1972 massacre on Tuesday.
“We are doing our best to accomplish the mission, but we do not have the required expertise to identify victims of massacres,” TRC Secretary General Clotilde Niragira said Wednesday after visiting the mass grave containing human skulls and bones at Rusaka in Mwaro province, 50 km southeast of the Burundian capital Bujumbura.
According to her, the TRC is working with “partners that will provide the required expertise” to identify skulls and bones in order to know who the victim was.
People living near the mass grave said the victims were killed during Burundi’s 1972 crisis when thousands from the majority Hutu ethnic group were killed and dumped in mass graves.
“We discussed with the administration of Mwaro ways of protecting the skulls and bones. We are also going to look for other mass graves. With the collaboration of experts who will identify the victims, we will then bury them with dignity,” Niragira said.
On Tuesday, construction workers discovered the mass grave while preparing a terrain for the construction of a vocational school at Rusaka.
Mwaro Governor Jean Marie Nyakarerwa said that six human skulls had been unearthed in the grave.
After discovering the mass grave, the local administration restricted its access to avoid the possibility of “diverting” investigations.
People living around the mass grave indicated that there might be other mass graves in their village.
In Sept. 2016, a grave containing several human skulls and bones was discovered at Bugarama in Muramvya province by farmers.
Since the east African country’s independence in 1962, several massacres have taken place as a result of violence between the majority Hutu and the minority Tutsi ethnic groups. Enditem