BUJUMBURA, October 14- Burundi said Tuesday it was certain that bodies found floating in a lake on its border had floated downstream from neighbouring Rwanda, despite repeated denials from Kigali.
The appearance of the corpses over the past several months have sparked concern in a region scarred by decades of unrest and serious rights abuses. Officials say six bodies were found, although fishermen have reported seeing as many as 10 times that number.
“We are confident these bodies were carried down into the lake from Rwanda,” Burundi’s Attorney General Valentin Bagorikunda told reporters.
He said the corpses were washed down the Akagera river, which originates in Rwanda before flowing into Lake Rweru.
Teams had carried out “very detailed” investigations around Lake Rweru, which borders the two central African nations, since several bound and bagged bodies turned up in the waters in August, Bagorikunda said.
Both Kigali and Bujumbura have repeatedly denied the bodies were from their countries.
The discoveries come amid concern over political violence in Burundi ahead of presidential polls due next June.
Neighbouring Rwanda is led by President Paul Kagame, who despite being credited with overseeing dramatic economic advances while in office, has also come in for mounting criticism for suppressing dissent, including the alleged assassinations of exiled opposition figures.
Last month the United States urged the nations to conduct a thorough investigation into the corpses.