Drawing upon interviews conducted with 24 Kibuye-based survivors, as well as GOR officials from around Rwanda, the paper argues that survivors — while appreciative of any effort to memorialize the 1994 genocide — are negotiating psychological and spiritual distress as a result of their inability to definitively identify and rebury the remains of their missing loved ones with respect. This distress, in turn, makes it difficult for them to envision a stable future for their communitythat includes multi-ethnic collaboration. For this reason, the paper asserts that the international community, in collaboration with the GOR and survivor communities around Rwanda, should pursue new humanitarian exhumations. These exhumations should be mandated to positively identify the anonymous victims of the 1994 genocide and return any identified remains to their surviving families for reburial.

The Africa Initiative Discussion Paper Series presents policy-relevant, peer-reviewed, field-based research that addresses substantive issues in the areas of conflict resolution, energy, food security, health, migration and climate change. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and advance knowledge on issues relevant to policy makers and opinion leaders in Africa. Papers in this series are written by experienced African and Canadian researchers, and have gone through the grant review process, or, in select cases, are commissioned studies supported by the Africa Initiative research program.