160 More Bodies Found At Kanungu

Africa News Online, The Monitor (Kampala), March 25, 2000
By Julius Mucunguzi, Arinaitwe Rugyendo & Agencies

Kampala - Tragic drama continued to unfold in Rukungiri yesterday when police exhumed 163 bodies from the compound of a branch of the Kanungu doomsday cult. The bodies were exhumed by police and inmates from Rukungiri Prison from three separate graves at Buhunga village, 10 km on Rukungiri- Kitagata road.

Sources from Buhunga told The Monitor that the exhumed bodies included those of 59 children and 94 adults. Also Friday, police announced that they were now treating the March 17 deaths of at least 530 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God Sect in Kanungu, Rukungiri, as murder not suicide.

The bodies were later re-buried in two mass graves at the same place. Some of bodies had cuts and smashed heads, according to the post-mortem examination carried out by Dr. Sebudi.

Dr. Sebudi told The Monitor in Mbarara that some of the bodies had ropes tied around their necks and that they could have been buried two weeks ago. Earlier the French news agency, AFP quoting area MP, Jim Muhwezi reported that Ugandan security officials had exhumed at least 40 bodies from two graves in the compound of the doomsday cult.

"They have discovered more bodies in Rujumbura County, Rukungiri District in western Uganda," Jim Muhwezi told AFP.

"Security officials in the area have told me today that they found one grave in which they discovered 20 bodies, mainly women and children," said Muhwezi, the former head of Uganda's Internal Security Organisation. "They then found a second bigger grave in which they have so far found twenty bodies, but they are still digging out more," he added.

"It looks as if the bodies were not buried very recently. Some of them were buried a year or so ago. And some of the bodies in the first grave they found with ropes around their necks," Muhwezi added.

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