Four mass graves believed to date back to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda have been discovered in the east African country, the BBC reports.
More than 200 bodies have been disinterred from the sites, which were found in the the Gasabo district near the Rwandan capital of Kigali.
“The exercise is ongoing as we have identified four mass graves and we are yet to start exhuming three others, the information we have is that many people were dumped in these mass graves,” Théogene Kabagambire, a local officer for Rwandan genocide survivors group Ibuka, told local newspaper News Day.
He added that workers are searching for a fifth grave site.
Approximately 3,000 residents of the district went missing following massacres that occurred during the 1994 genocide, when some 800,000 people, mostly members of the Tutsi ethnic minority, were killed by ethnic majority Hutu militias over 100 days. Local residents in Gasabo believe the mass graves could contain all of the missing victims’ bodies, according to the BBC.
But the location of the site, which was reportedly identified to workers by a local woman, has raised questions about how long its existence has been known to local residents. Many of those convicted of perpetrating atrocities during the genocide have now been released, but they “are doing little to reveal the whereabouts of our loved ones,” Kabagambire said.