Past exhumations conducted by Physicians for Human Rights at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda were short-lived and controversial, from the perspective of both the international community and the communities that hosted the investigations. There is, however, widespread support among survivors for renewedefforts to identify and repatriate the anonymous victims of the 1994 genocide, both to reduce the psychological and spiritual distress the survivors experience and to provide definitive evidence of the genocide for future generations. In this brief, the term “repatriation” is used to refer to the process of returning human remains to their surviving relatives for appropriate reburial.

The CIGI-Africa Initiative Policy Brief Series presents analysis and commentary emerging from field-based research on issues critical to the continent. Findings and recommendations in this peer-reviewed series aim to inform policy making and to contribute to the overall African research enterprise.