BUJUMBURA May 31st (ABP) – The Senate of Burundi organized on Friday May 28, 2021 in Bujumbura, the 3rd conference of testimony and reflection on the events of 1972, for the Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Prosper Bazombanza, executives of the Office of President of the Republic, parliamentarians, representatives of different ministries, commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the National Commission for Land and other Assets (CNTB), victims and survivors of the events of 1972.
The former President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, who had come as a speaker, first clarified that in order to achieve a successful reconciliation of the Burundians, it is necessary to speak the truth, to testify on the events of 1972. He explained that the knot of the Burundian conflict can be found in the events of 1972.
That historian pointed out that mysteries persist on “the armed bands that attacked the south of the country from April 29 to May 5, 1972 and that killed people of the Tutsi ethnic group.” According to Ntibantunganya, those attackers were not “Hutu rebels” as Micombero’s power said, but Congolese mercenaries (Ba Murere) recruited by the same power.
He also added that in Albert Shibura’s book, it was mentioned that those attackers did not speak the Kirundi language and that they had behaviors contrary to Burundian culture including the consumption of human body parts, the consumption of drugs and others.
The speaker went on to say that the Batutsi massacred in 1972 were innocent victims of a strategy of the regime of Michel Micombero who recruited the mercenaries that they called “Hutu rebellion” to be able to find an opportunity to say that there was genocide of the Tutsi in order to achieve the goal that this regime had set itself to systematically eliminate people from the Hutu ethnic group, especially men including notables, executives, traders, teachers, pupils, students, and executives in the army.
The victims and survivors of those atrocities from the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups who were present in the conference all affirmed that the armed gangs which attacked southern Burundi in 1972 came from abroad, considering the way they were dressed, the language they spoke, their behavior contrary to that of Burundi. They recommended the government of Burundi to see how to get the victims of those events free from so-called, “women or children of the bamenja”.
They also asked the perpetrators of those events who are still alive to ask forgiveness from the entire Burundian population and to hand over the goods, whether material or land, that they looted during that period.