1 MARCH 1996
Kinshasa (AP) – Refugees in eastern Zaire have begun moving further into the country after a mass grave has been discovered in the greater Bukavu region on the site of a former refugee camp. Evidence suggests that the people found have been the victims of violence.
Amnesty International’s spokesman says the mass grave “was covered poorly and hastily, the degrading bodies of almost 300 people of the negroïde race must have been buried in the past year, probably in between February and April 1995.”
“Most of the human remains were buried collectively. Some of them were for women and children. We were unable to identify the almost 300 bodies, both personally of ethnically.” the source added.
Governments officials in Kinshasa were quick to place blame on the Rwandan government and the RPF as perpetrators of an attack, but AP has found no objective evidence to support that assertion. Prime Minister Léon Kengo wa Dondo : “the illegal government of the Rwandan Patriotic Front have been retaliating ever since they have seized control over the country. We will not allow those dogs to cause any further trouble within our territory”
It remains to be seen whether these horrendous actions were transgressed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army, as stated by the Zaïrian government, or a result of turmoil and violence within the refugee camps.