BUJUMBURA December 22nd (ABP) – The two Houses of Parliament analyzed and approved, on Monday December 20, 2021, in the Kigobe Hemicycle, the progress report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) 2021.
In his explanatory memorandum, CVR Chair Pierre Claver Ndayicariye indicated that the members of the Commission took the option of a deep investigation into the massive human rights violations committed during the year 1972.
During the years 2020 and 2021, the CVR mainly carried out its investigations in the ten provinces of the country. These are the provinces of Gitega, Karusi, Rumonge, Makamba, Bururi, Muyinga, Kirundo, Bujumbura Mairie, Muramvya and Mwaro, the CVR chairperson said.
Mr. Ndayicariye added that, overall, the Commission interviewed 986 people from those provinces and exhumed 19,897 victims in 190 verified, confirmed and exhumed mass graves for the 1972 crisis.
To that end, he added, the CVR had an extraordinary chance to find privileged witnesses who agreed to speak with an open heart, noting that the age of the interlocutors varies between 60 years and 95 years, including men and women who witnessed the atrocities of the time.
In addition, the chairman of the CVR thanked all the people and institutions who lent him a hand and those who have informed him so far, adding that they have helped shed light on the massive violence, which mourned the country in 1972.
Regarding the typology of human rights violence and their qualification, the chairman of the CVR explained to parliamentarians meeting in congress that the CVR’s research classified the victims of the killings of 1972-1973 into several categories.
According to Mr. Ndayicariye, there are monarchist victims, Bahutu and Batutsi, victims of the Bahutu insurgency in the south of the country, Bahutu dignitaries and senior officials, Bahutu officials, Bahutu fetuses and children and Bahutu returning from Uganda and Tanzania.
He also indicated that during fiscal year 2021, the CVR proceeds to the qualification of crimes committed in Burundi in 1972-1973, adding that the qualification process has been matured. It is fed by the results of exhumations already made in the various provinces of the country, the results of hearings, witnesses in the same provinces, the various archives of the Burundian administration and other documentary sources already collected by the CVR, he insisted.
The chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission further underlined that in this qualification process, the CVR also questioned legal experts, historians and psychologists to assess the damage caused by the massive and serious violations of human rights, violations committed against the national community in general and against citizens of the Bahutu ethnic group in particular.
After the discussions on that report, the parliamentarians meeting in congress approved it unanimously and asked the CVR to organize meetings at the internal and external levels, to popularize the results of the progress report for the fiscal year 2021.
They also urged the government of the Republic of Burundi to set a National Day of Commemoration of the genocide committed against the Bahutu of Burundi in 1972-1973, while inviting it to officially ask for forgiveness, on behalf of the Burundian nation, to all families suffering, all this for a lasting reconciliation.