BURURI, 22 March 2021 – At least 1,455 people were massacred in Bururi during Burundi’s 1972 massacres, a report released over the weekend shows.
Over the weekend, Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) said it found the mortal remains of the 1,455 after exhuming only 11 of dozens of mass graves identified across the region.
“The TRC has verified 68 mass graves. And it is only in 11 of these mass graves that we exhumed 1,455 victims of the 1972 crisis,” TRC president, Pierre Claver Ndayicariye told reporters.
“The images of the mass graves show the unheard-of barbarity with which the victims were tortured and murdered,” the TRC leader added.
The work of the TRC has come under criticism by some Burundians who accuse the commission of leaning towards one ethnic group.
“The Ndayicariye Commission wants to make the national and international opinion believe that it is the Hutus who were killed,” said Tatien Sibormana, a Burundian politician.
He continued: “This is not true at all. He can sing it, claim it all day long, it will never be the truth of what happened”.
The TRC says it has discovered more than 4,000 mass graves in the country holding victims killed in the ten years since independence in 1962 to the massacres in 1972.
Burundi’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was set up in 2018 to shed light into ethnic massacres and tensions, has said it has identified 142,205 victims.