Remains of Rwandan genocide victims used for witchcraft: Report

March 23rd, 2009 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi/Kigali, March 23 (DPA) A report by Rwanda’s parliament has found that the remains of genocide victims buried in mass graves in Uganda have been exhumed to be used in witchcraft ceremonies, Rwandan media reported.
The New Times, citing a copy of the report, said that one mass grave in Masaka district in central Uganda was tampered with and many bodies washed away downriver.

“At the mass grave in Masaka district we found a bottle of local brew, coins and other witchcraft materials on top of the grave,” the report said. “This clearly indicates that the bodies are exhumed and possibly used for witchcraft purposes.”

The parliamentary report comes at a sensitive time, with the 15th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide fast approaching.

Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered within 100 days following the assassination of Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana April 6, 1994.

The report also criticised Uganda for failing to look after other burial sites, where shrines have been built, farmers are cultivating crops and cattle are grazing.

Belief in witchcraft is still widespread across much of sub-Saharan Africa.

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