Zimbabwe's state media say the government has promised to exhume and rebury the bodies of thousands of people killed during a 1980s military campaign aimed at crushing dissidents.

The Herald newspaper cites the secretary in the justice ministry as calling the reburials part of measures supported by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to bring closure to the killings between 1983 and 1987. She did not say when they will start.

Mnangagwa was state security minister at the time, publicly supporting the campaign. He has refused to apologize for his alleged role but recently said people should be free to talk about the killings.

Operation Gukurahundi rampaged through Matabeleland. A 1997 report by the Catholic Commission on Peace and Justice, drawing on more than 1,000 interviews, said 10,000 to 20,000 civilians were killed.