Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From bloodshed to hope in Burundi

Ambassador Krueger was US ambassador to Burundi in 1994 where he witnessed the attrocities committed by the tutsi-dominated army. When you read his account of an ongoing genocide and you think back how you were living while all this was taking place. People often think of the nazi's and can't imagine it ever to happen again. But in Burundi it came close to the nazi practices. Going into villages and killing innocent women and children just because they belonged to the Hutu tribe. The tutsi tribe had the power, but are a much smaller tribe then the hutu's. The only way they thought they could live was by ensuring domination over the much larger hutu tribe with arms. It's hard to know how the situation in Burundi actually is today, a little better they do say. When you see how motivated people were to join youthgroups that would go around killing in the country side, alot like Hitler jugend in germany. And all those killers are now grown people and probably even the richer class Burundi. Some of them probably even still are integrated into the government. And that is maybe even a good thing. Maybe the integration of hutu rebels into the army has made it less easy for the army to continue their systematic killings. It would be interesting to know if the Rwandan army today has any hutu's integrated into it too today.

Democratisation is a subject on which the book touches, one of the things that Krueger noticed was the fact that the perpetrators were affraid to have him drive around the country and count the dead bodies, thousands a week. The influence of Mandela in the peace process. The division within the Tutsi party Uprona also helped.

Former ambassador Robert E Gribbin to Rwanda has also wrote a book on his experiences from 1996 to 1999. He has a blog at
africa reflections It's a book that sheds some light on why America let Kagame slaughter hundreds of thousands of refugees in Congo without feeling guilty.

War and peace, a book about the tragedy of the millions of refugees in Kivu, gives some information what Gribben's ugly role has been.


Burundi weblog

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