PHOTO: A joint operation by Rwandan and Burundian troops resulted in the seizure of

hundreds of illegal weapons along the border of both countries.

Source: Mark Christopher, http://operationbrokensilence.org

Unstable Burundi Peace Process Inches Forward

 In the summer of 1994, thousands of genocidal, angry Hutu militiamen fled from

neighboring Rwanda after murdering over 800,000 of their Tutsi countrymen.

The fast-advancing Tutsi rebels that would be declared as the heros that would end

the genocide were sweeping south from the capital of Kigali. The Hutu militia fled.

By August, under the protection and auspices of a "French humanitarian mission," which was simply

a military operation to stop the advancing rebels, hundreds of thousands of Hutus fled into

the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which began receiving enormous amounts of international aid

to feed, medicate, and protect endless numbers of refugees, while doing

the same for those responsible for the genocide.

But to the southeast, virtually no international aid was to arrive. And when the Hutu militias

stormed across the Rwandan border into Burundi, they continued their genocide against

the Burundian Tutsi population, while also creating a civil war between the predominantly

Tutsi government and the northern Hutu population.

By the end of 2007, an estimated 300,000 defenseless men, women, and children had been shot,

hacked to death, or burned alive; with no hope for peace, international military intervention,

or an end to the genocide in sight.


Now, a year later, international diplomatic efforts, led by Uganda, have brought the warring parties

to the peace table in an effort to end the violence that began in Rwanda and spread.

While security is still a major concern, violence has subsided leading the atmosphere of war and

genocide to being dissolved into a tense, fragile ceasefire. International aid organizations have moved

into displacement camps to protect, feed, and medicate the tens of thousands that have been left homeless.

There is also talks of a War Crimes Tribunal being launched for those that are responsible for deaths

unimaginable in Burundi and Rwanda.

However, even though Burundi is closer to peace, international organizations continue to warn that

the warring parties are not disarming and that the Hutu militias still roam freely outside of the camps,

attacking civilians, raping women, and kidnapping children and forcing them to become child soldiers.

There are also eyewitness reports stating that some of these armed groups are renewing attacks on

the displacement camps by brazenly marching into them, killing soldiers and policemen that are

protecting the camps, then executing anyone they see.

Even more disturbing, though, is a report released by the United Nations earlier this year, which stated that

there was sufficient evidence supporting the long-suspected fears that plans for a genocide,

which could eclipse the scale of the Rwandan genocide of 1994, against the Tutsi population in Burundi 

were already underway, and possibly in its final stages.

Source: Mark Christopher, http://operationbrokensilence.org

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
Gsm:   (250) 08470205
Home: (250) 55104140
P.O. Box 3867
Kigali - RWANDA
Blog: http://cepgl.blogspot.com
Skype ID: kayisa66

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