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Government puts genocide victims at 1.07 million

In a recently released preliminary report, Rwanda's Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs says that 1,074,017 people were killed in massacres and genocide between 1 October 1991 and 31 December 1994, Radio Rwanda reported on Monday.

The ministry's report, the result of a recent census, showed that 66 percent of genocide victims were male, the radio reported. People aged between one and 21 years had been the most affected age group for both sexes. Of those killed, 97.3 percent were Tutsi. It is unclear if this figure refers to those aged between one and 21 years olds or to all people killed during the period reviewed.

The former Rwandan army, the ex-FAR, and its Rwandan Hutu militia allies, the Interahamwe, also killed politically moderate Hutus.

Census takers established the names of 951,018 victims. Although some witness recalled other deaths, they could not identify victims by name.

Butare, in the south of the country, was the worst-affected. At least 20 percent of the victims were from this prefecture, the Rwanda News Agency reported. Umutara, in the northeast, was the least affected prefecture, with 2.5 percent of the victims. The report stated that traditional weapons were mostly used during the genocide.

Presenting the report, Minister of Social Affairs Odette Nyiramirimo said the purpose of the census was to establish the exact number of genocide victims. Problems encountered during the exercise included the refusal by some people to provide information out of fear for their own security, and others had forgotten facts. University students, the Department of Statistics in the Ministry of Finance, the ministries of local government, youth, sports and culture conducted the census.

Most news reports put the number of genocide victims at between 800,000 and one million.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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