Arusha, 6 April, 2009 (FH) - The bodies of nearly 11,000 Rwandan  1994 genocide victims that floated more than 100 miles downriver and were placed in makeshift graves in Uganda will receive proper reburial, Rwanda's Ambassador said Sunday.

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According to Associated Press (AP) dispatch from Kampala, the bodies will be exhumed from the shores of Lake Victoria and reburied in three permanent mass graves, Ambassador Ignatius Kamali said on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the start of the Rwandan genocide.

"We have decided to accord a decent burial to those genocide victims," he said, adding that the exercise will be carried out within 100 days.

Kamali did not say how much the process would cost but said that Rwanda would foot the bill. The Rwandan government has bought the land where the bodies will be buried.

The Rwandan genocide began on April 6, 1994, after a plane carrying the central African nation's president - a member of the Hutu ethnic majority - was shot down.

In a span of about three months, an estimated 800,000 people were killed - many hacked to death with machetes and hoes. Women were systematically raped and tortured, their limbs chopped off. In some cases, pregnant women died as their fetuses were ripped from their wombs.

Many bodies had been thrown into Rwanda's Nyabarongo River, which feeds into the Kagera River and which dumps into Lake Victoria.

The Lake is 68,800 square kilometres in size, making it the continent's largest lake, the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second widest fresh water lake in the world.


© Hirondelle News Agency