• Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

The State and its partners should endow the TRC with sufficient means to properly investigate the events of 1972, according to former President Ntibantunganya


Jun 14, 2021

BUJUMBURA June 14th (ABP) – The Senate of Burundi organized on Friday, June 11, 2021 in Bujumbura, the 4th conference of testimonies and reflection on the events of 1972 under the theme: “Remember and properly qualify the events of 1972 in Burundi”.

The Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, the President of the Senate, Senators, MPs, leaders of State institutions, faith leaders, leaders of political parties, survivors and victims of 1972, and so on.

The former president of Burundi, Mr. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, speaker of the day, indicated that according to what he read in works of writers like Réné Le Marchand in his book entitled “The genocide of 1972 in Burundi, the silences of the history”, that of Marc Manirakiza “Burundi from revolution to regionalism”, and the reports that were written by foreigners and what he saw himself, all estimate that in 1972, more than 300,000 people of the Hutu ethnic group were brutally massacred and thrown into mass graves. They were dug using the means provided by the power of Michel Micombero, including the machines. There are other means that have been used such as the soldiers, State officials, military trucks for the transport of killed people, guns, planes, to name but a few.

According to President Ntibantunganya, the people who were massacred at that time were soldiers, faith leaders, intellectuals, teachers, large traders, pupils or students, and any other executive of the Hutu ethnic group, including the women and girls who were killed after being raped. He did not forget to point out that in secondary schools, some educators of the Tutsi ethnic group took part in genocide actions, others did not want to protect their colleagues, pupils or students for whom they were responsible.

                           View of the conference participants

Despite all those reasons, the speaker specifies that the power of Michel Micombero and those who directly succeeded him denied that the events of 1972 were a genocide prepared against the Hutu. Mr. Ntibantunganya took the opportunity to recommend to the State of Burundi and the international community to declare that the events of 1972 are a genocide committed against people of the Hutu ethnic group.

He specified that the State and its partners should grant the TRC sufficient means to properly investigate those events of 1972 throughout Burundian territory, so that the maximum number of victims or survivors should testify what they experienced, explaining that they are in search for the truth for making the perpetrators of those crimes, the victims, present and future generations free.

The survivors and victims who were present in that conference had time to testify and did not say the opposite of what the speaker said. They all claimed that the events of 1972 were genocide. They also pleaded for reconciliation and reparation. Widows let it be known that after the demise of their husbands, they had great difficulty in educating their children because their property was looted including houses, land, bank accounts, and so on.