Kigali, 23 July 2009 (FH) - Sixteen genocide survivors, who testified or were members of the bench in gacaca trials, have been killed since the beginning of the year, according to IBUKA, the umbrella organization of 1994 genocide survivors in Rwanda.

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The report indicates that six of them were killed in April, as the country was commemorating the 15th genocide anniversary committed against mainly ethnic Tutsis in 1994.

The Western province tops the list with seven cases, followed by the Southern province which five deaths.

In addition, more than one third of the victims were women, including two, who were killed by their husbands.

The survivors, for the most part, had testified for the prosecution in semi-popular gacaca courts, charged with trying the alleged authors of the genocide.

The report stated that the youngest victim was a 14 year-old boy, Anias Kanyeshuri, killed on 17 April in the Rutsiro district, western Rwanda.

The teenager was burnt alive by people who were accused to have exterminated his family in 1994.

The last murder was that of Asterie Nyiraguhirwa, who was killed by her Hutu husband, Celestin Nsengumuremyi, in the night of 19 July, in south-western Rwanda.

The Ibuka report said that the murderer, who admitted to the crime, had been threatening to kill his wife since end of the genocide.

Last year, 22 cases of murder of survivors and other witnesses of the genocide, had been listed in Rwanda.

For the period of 1995 to mid-May 2008, Ibuka had counted 167 similar murders.


© Hirondelle News Agency