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Guest post by “Kabonesho”: TENTH COMMEMORATON OF THE TITANIC EXPRESS MASSACRE : WILL JUSTICE EVER PREVAIL IN BURUNDI?

with 4 comments

Sorting ethnic victims as under the Nazis, grouping the Tutsi on one side, the executioners strip victims of their property, rape women, machine-gun all the Tutsi, whoever looks like them (at least according to the stereotypes dating from the colonial racist now and still in force), all Tutsi’s friends and those who take their defense, then go quietly to write up a report for the genocidal hierarchy as this would be shown in documents that were later seized in the den of these bloodthirsty criminals…

This took place in Burundi in 2000, on December 28th to be precise,  when the PALIPEHUTU-FNL terrorist organization attacked the Titanic Express bus linking Kigali (Rwanda) to Bujumbura (Burundi). It was one of many terrorist acts by these neo-Nazi genocidal militias, now in power in Burundi and which genocide denials shamefully call ‘democrats,’ ‘peace pillars,’ and ‘peacemakers,’ ….
One of the victims, Miss Charlotte Wilson, was a British citizen and a professor at Nyamirambo, Rwanda. She was making the trip together with her fiancé from Burundi, Ndereyimana Richard, a professor at the same school. She was be introduced to his family in view of their future marriage.

Riahcrd is handsome and tall; for the terrorists under the command of Agathon Rwasa, the commandeer of the carnage, he must be a Tutsi and it doesn’t matter whether the characterization was wrongful. His physique is sufficient ‘reason’ for him to be savagely mutilated and then murdered together with his fiancée, while the executioners rejoice in singing “IBIKUNDANYE BIRAJANA” (those who love must die together).

There was also a Canadian citizen of Burundi origin aboard that Titanic Express bus that was linking Kigali, rwanda to Bujumbura, Burundi. His name was Arthur Kabunda. He was Tutsi, and as for the others, this was sufficient to justify his murder.

There is no doubt that the attack was committed by the PALIPEHUTU militia, now in power with the other racist, terrorist and genocidal organization CNDD-FDD. In his December 2000 monthly report dated January 12, 2001, the then commander of the PALIPEHUTU terrorist militias operating from Tenga, SIBOMANA Albert, wrote that the attack was scheduled for December 27, 2000 but the bus had not shown up. It was therefore postponed to the next day at Mageyo on RN1 highway. In the meantime, the terrorists had reinforced both material and human resources that they needed for the ambush. Therefore, this attack was a carefully planned terrorist act.

What is surprising is the fact that Canada and Britain, two nations who claim to be the avant-garde position in the fight against terrorism, acts of genocide and crimes against humanity, support the impunity of the organizations and individuals who have commandeered and carried out these crimes. The stand is even paradoxical if we consider that the victims were not from Burundi alone, but they included also of citizens of Canada, Great Britain two other countries.

It should be recalled that many other international figures have been deliberately massacred in Burundi by these organizations. The international community’s reaction, if any, was more support for these criminals against humanity now in power in Burundi. Obviously, the consequences could be but more institutionalization of impunity as well as violation of international law and universal morality.

One such example is the murders of Representatives of UNICEF, WHO, and the Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi, to mention but the most senior dignitaries. Yet, neither the UN nor the Vatican does promote in Burundi the badly needed rule of law that would curb impunity and establish for peace a foundation that is stronger than the institutionalization of terrorism and racism that were inherited from the Arusha process.

However, that these acts and their perpetrators are of racist, terrorist and criminal nature, is established beyond any possible doubt:

§37 “Effective impunity generates political violence and is a serious destabilizing element in all contexts of the Burundi socio-political system. Respect for the rule of law is essential to maintain order and stability and to protect human rights in any country. Impunity encourages and perpetuates the mass violations of human rights. There have been periodical mass killings, but extremely few perpetrators have been brought to justice. Furthermore, impunity is an obstacle to democratic development and peace negotiations, and makes reconciliation difficult.”[1]

“An amnesty in Burundi is exactly the wrong direction to take,” said Peter Takirambudde, executive director of the Africa division of Human Rights Watch. “Many of the killings in Burundi, whether perpetrated by Tutsi or by Hutu, were crimes against humanity. A U.N. Commission has described some of them as genocide. How can there be any hope of justice and order in Burundi if crimes of this magnitude are left unpunished?

Human Rights Watch urged the creation of a new division of the existing International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to prosecute crimes committed in Burundi. It also recommended using foreign jurists within Burundian courts to speed judging the thousands of persons accused of ethnic killings and other attacks since 1993.[2]

§496. “[3]Having concluded that acts of genocide against the Tutsi minority were committed in Burundi in October 1993, the Commission believes that international jurisdiction should be asserted with respect to these acts.”

It should recalled also that the FNL are the result of a merger between the PALIPEHUTU militias and the ex-FAR/Interahamwe. The agreement to implement that fusion was signed in Cibitoke, Burundi on May 28, 1997. The FDD also cooperate closely with the ex-FAR/Interahamwe, following other agreements signed between then CNDD-FDD’ chairman Leonard Nyangoma and ex-FAR’s Commander in Chief, General Augustin Bizimungu. The UN released these agreements, and reports by Human Rights Watch revealed that nearly 60% of the militia that were terrorizing the neighborhood of Bujumbura were half-Burundian, half-Rwandan …

International Crisis Group report dated 18.05.2001 confirms that cooperation or merger: ” The presence of armed elements of the Rwandan Hutu opposition in Burundi and the rebel PALIPEHUTU association with the RAF is old. “

Cooperation between genocidal militias is limitless. The same report from International Crisis Group warns that “contacts between the political branches and the staffs FDD of Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye and FNL of Agathon Rwasa are now regular. In addition to a meeting in late March Mayotte between politicians from two movements, Rwasa also visited Lubumbashi at the same time for a congress of the FDD in order to devote the alliance of two rebel movements. The FDD and FNL refuel in uniforms, weapons and ammunition via Kivu, are doing a hand if necessary and exchange information on the positioning and movement of the Burundian army [28].

In 1997, the UN published the report S/1997/1010 proving that “there is close link between the Rwandan and Burundian insurgent forces, including increasing coordination, cooperation and joint planning between the former Rwandan government forces/Interahamwe and the Burundian Conseil National pour la Defense de la Démocratie and its military wing, the Front pour la Défense de la Démocratier (CNDD-FDD (§ 108 d) The following year, in 1998 the same UN published another report, S/1998/777 proving once again that ” very close co-operation exists between the ex-FAR and two of the Burundian rebel groups: CNDD/FDD and the Parti pour la libération du peuple hutu (PALIPEHUTU) and its military wing, the Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL).” (paragraph 46)

The same report publishes the ” Cooperation Agreement (in Appendix II) signed May 22, 1995 in Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo) by the high command of the FAR and the CNDD, formalizing cooperation between the two parties. It was signed by Leonard Nyangoma, President of the CNDD, and Major General Augustin Bizimungu, Commander and Chief of Staff of the ex-FAR. In the preamble to this document, both sides say they are “convinced of the benefits of pooling resources, both material and financial, and coordination of all actions that are needed to ensure a final victory of the FAR and FDD. “(paragraph 47)

On May 21, 1997, another cooperation agreement was signed in DRC between the FNL’s Kagoma battalion and the FAR. It translates as: “We, the delegations of the Kagoma Battalion and Forces Nationales de Liberation, having met successively on April 25 and April 26,1997; May 5 and tMay 21, 1997; have agreed to unite in order to fight our common enemy, namely the Mututsi and his acolytes; in view to free our beloved nation. To achieve this, after our meeting this May 21, 1997, our cooperation project was successful, and we have decided what follows:

1 ° The merger of the Forces under the name “NATIONAL LIBERATION FORCES”;

2 ° The Forces thus merged are dedicated to the total liberation of the Hutu Nation;

3 ° To achieve the objective assigned to the National Liberation Forces, it was decided to begin our struggle from the front of Burundi, the Rwanda front will come second;

4 Throughout the process of liberation, the two forces’ logistics, material, and human means are common.

In other words, the false rebels, who run the institutions of the puppet government in Bujumbura Burundi are not even Burundian!

Is there a reason why law and morality are so despised, even in Burundi? Is there a reason why criminals against humanity continue to be proclaimed kings in Burundi for the same crimes and same accomplices that put them to trial in the case of neighboring Rwanda?

Now that we have been honoring and incensing shame and dishonor, it is high time to go back and earnestly realize that happy and peaceful future is on the side of the proponents of the rule of law in Burundi.

[1] Economic and Social Council deferred E/CN.4/1996/4/Add.1 24 July 1995 § 37

[2] Human Rights Watch, Neglecting Justice in Making Peace, 2001

[3] International Commission of Inquiry for Burundi Final Report (S/1996/682)

Written by Richard Wilson

December 30, 2010 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Don't Get Fooled Again

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4 Responses

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  1. As a member of the Burundian opposition, I can only say that the current regime is executing more and more innocents on a daily basis. I cannot help but feel that if each victim of this madness recieved as much attention as the more famous victims, then maybe, Burundi would see peace, unity and justice.
    Currently it is the government that is killing anyone who belongs or has any links to the FNL, MSD, UPD, etc. And the deathning silence of all actors is nothing else other than the same silence the world screamed as Jews were rounded up, “Never again”, as tutsis were hacked, “Never again”, as mass rape in DRC took place,”Never again”. I can only hope that humanity will one day learn to value their words and value human rights, and life.

    kago mubi

    January 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    • Hi Kago – I agree that there should be more attention on what is happening. Would you like to write a guest post about the current situation?

      Richard Wilson

      January 24, 2011 at 12:29 pm

  2. Egypt Mubarak was pocketing a fortune in the name of “peace process” in the middle east, Agathon Rwasa was lobbied for by powerful forces that included the UN,African Union to have his crimes granted amnesty from prosecution, Former Burundi President Major Pierre Buyoya is still regarded as a democrat,peace mediator by the international community, he is strongly supported and protected,while we continue to hear ordinary citizens and victims of this system left in their agony, they have no powerful system or Lawyers to defend their cases.World Arms dealers are making a fortune out of the misery of conflicts of Africa,they’re making business in places like DRC, while a child can’t even access basic needs, where is justice? In my homeland Burundi, those who brutalised others, embezzled state funds, killed and tortured, are enjoying a comfortable like, while we have internally displaced refugees, Tutsi survivors left destitute, where is justice?

    Desire Katihabwa

    February 18, 2011 at 11:13 am

  3. Victims of Agathon Rwasa,Major Pierre Buyoya should be the ones to be elected as the country’s leaders,we should also have a court case at an international court to prosecute those who sponsored these criminals, prosecute those who ordered bombing and butchering of Burundian civilians, many of these culprits are sitting in Burundi Parliament and Government,true justice and revolution means we can have those criminals out of our government,and promote true genuine leaders, they are many!

    Desire Katihabwa

    February 18, 2011 at 11:16 am


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