BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Rwanda counts its dead
remains of genocide victims
The number massacred in the 1994 genocide is disputed
Rwanda has embarked on a census to establish just how many people died during the genocide of 1994.

A government appointed team of 1,600 investigators are scouring the country to draw up a definitive list of genocide victims.

Government officials and genocide survivors have talked in the past of over 1m deaths.

That figure has not won general acceptance outside Rwanda.

Several lower estimates have been advanced by researchers and historians, but they have acknowledged problems in getting comprehensive information about a campaign of mass murder which went on for three months.

Remains

Most of the victims were from the minority Tutsi population but many moderate Hutus also lost their lives.

reburial
Bodies are still being exhumed and reburied
The remains of the dead are still being exhumed and excavatated in different parts of the country.

The government is looking for names as well as figures.

The main genocide survivors group, Ibuka, has already begun publishing its own series of volumes looking at the genocide in each province of Rwanda and providing details of every victim.

The census will cover the period beginning October 1990 when Rwanda Patrotic Front rebels, led by the current President, Paul Kagame, launched attacks against the then President Juvenal Habyarimana's government.

Compensation

Survivors have often been critical of the current government, arguing that it uses the genocide as a political tool while neglecting the needs and problems of the bereaved.

The census was an attempt to address some of that criticism.

There are also reports that the government needs to establish the correct number of victims whose families might be considered for compensation.

The demand for compensation is part of an OAU inquiry into the genocide, which blames Western powers for failing to intervene to stop the mass slaughter.

The inquiry blames in particular France, the United States, Belgium and the United Nations Security Council for failing to prevent the genocide.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

07 Jul 00 | Africa
OAU seeks Rwanda compensation
05 Jul 00 | Africa
UN general's Rwandan nightmares
11 Jan 00 | Africa
Rwandans to sue UN
17 Dec 99 | Africa
UN should make amends - Rwanda
16 Dec 99 | Africa
UN admits failure in Rwanda
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories