UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
/* Written 2:26 PM Aug 7, 1994 by hnaylor in igc:ai.general */ /* ---------- "BURUNDI: Another Rwanda waiting" ---------- */ Amnesty International International Secretariat 1 Easton Street London WC1X 8DJ United Kingdom
5 AUGUST 1994
BURUNDI: ANOTHER RWANDA WAITING TO EXPLODE
The "killing lines" have been drawn in the central African country of Burundi, where society seems to have split into several armed factions. This is the grim message from Amnesty International investigators who have just returned from a 10-day trip to the country.
The investigators found that:
- The criminal justice system has all but completely broken down - Hundreds of people are being killed in massacres every month. - Further international action is needed immediately.
When the team -- led by Mike Dottridge, Amnesty International's Program Director for Africa -- arrived, they found the country divided into hostile communities. Hundreds of killings were continuing to be carried out by armed groups and the armed forces. Several hundred people died in Muramvya province in July alone. AI is calling for a reinforcement of the Organization of African Unity's monitoring mission to be established in Burundi as soon as possible.
One Amnesty International delegate, a Chadian lawyer who chaired a commission of inquiry which exhumed the remains of murdered political prisoners, visited a newly discovered mass grave in Kirundo province, bordering Rwanda, which is believed to contain the remains of unknown numbers of Rwandese refugees thought to have been killed in mid-June this year. A further 70 are reported to have been killed in the past month. Hundreds of thousands of Rwandese refugees are estimated to have crossed into Burundi following the genocide in Rwanda. Shortly before the arrival of the delegate the mass grave was burnt and further earth added.
Despite the massive scale of political killings in Burundi (at least 50,000 people died in the weeks after President Melchior Ndadaye was killed and several thousand more this year) almost nothing is being done at national or international level to bring those responsible to justice. Amnesty International delegates noted little progress in official inquiries to establish responsibility for the killings. The organization is calling for international observers to be deployed in the country as soon as possible to ensure effective and impartial investigations.
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 1994 16:47:01 -0400 From: Abdul-Rehman Malik
Subject: BURUNDI: Another Rwanda waiting To: Multiple recipients of list AFRICA-N
Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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