Massacre On Burundi



Massacre has been perpetrated in  the refugee camp of Gatumba, Burundi, where more than 160 people were shot, burned, hacked and clubbed to death by machetes and automatic weapons. The victims, women, children,

old persons were almost all Banyamulenge, Congolese tutsis originally from Rwanda who had fled  the Eastern  Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the uprising in Bukavu earlier this year.

The event itself and the methods used to carry out the massacre are reminiscent of the Rwanda's genocide  in 1994 and raised fears of retaliatory violence that could threaten the reconciliatory peace efforts in both Burundi and DRC. It is alledged that  the responsibility of the killings  falls on different parties ranging from the Burundian rebel FLN and other assailants from DRC and Rwanda.  The killings once again demonstrated that the Great Lakes region still remains an area of a dangerously simmering interethnic hatred that could lead to immensely unpredictable human disaster if the root cause of the confrontation were not eliminated. Such an unstable situation would fuel more new hatred, atrocities and growing insecurity as well.

The Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation strongly condemns the massacre. It welcomes the declaration issued by  The Peace and Security Council of the African Union urging the United Nations to investigate and establish the facts on this massacre in Gatumba as well as the need to establish the Joint DRC/ Rwanda Verification Mechanism with the necessity to speed up the implementation of this Mechanism.

AAPSO calls on the peoples of the region to exert tremendous efforts in order to restore and sustain stability and security in their respective countries. The responsibility of the political leadership of the countries of the Great Lakes Region in respecting agreements reached between them, and the civil society in these countries of the region must be first of all engaged in the search of means to avert another genocide. Urgent necessary measures  aiming at undertaking thourough investigation over the killings should be immediately taken as well as measures to put an end to the negative forces in the Great Lakes Region. Perpetrators of those carrying out criminal activities must not go unpunished and should be brought to justice. Strong action is needed to prevent any repetition of such a massacre.

AAPSO again calls on the African Union, the United Nations and the other concerned actors to do everything at their disposal to secure the region from the threat of cases such as that which has been happening in Burundi.