BUJUMBURA June 20th (ABP) – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) organized on Friday June 17, 2022, a public conference for the student community of the University of the Great Lakes in Bujumbura, to explain to them the missions of the TRC, its activities, the results obtained, the prospects and to shed light on the painful past that Burundi has gone through.
The president of the TRC, Ambassador Pierre Claver Ndayicariye told the students of this university that the history they learned never told them about the mass graves scattered across the country, the events of 1972, and the deaths that the countries recorded during the crises of 1961, 1962, 1969, 1988, 1991, 1993 and others.
Academics have also not been informed about all the violations that the country experienced in the colonial past, and in the early years of history.
Amb. Ndayicariye took advantage of this circumstance to indicate that the TRC investigated the serious, massive and systematic violations of human rights committed in 1972-1973 against the Burundi of the Bahutu ethnic group by the power of Michel Micombero who was in place.
Through a documentary film that the CVR screened, the students were able to follow how was the exhumation of the false communes in different localities of all the provinces of the country. After the follow-up to this documentary film illustrating the events of 1972, Mr. Ndayicariye emphasized that university students were targeted because, according to him, they are the leaders of tomorrow or the managers of the country in the future. He explained that some of them will be deputies, senators, provincial governors, others will lead the country at the top of the state. For this reason, they must know the heavy past that Burundi has gone through and which has been hidden for 50 years. By knowing the truth, they can avoid disasters, tragedies, human rights violations, killings that Burundi has experienced in the past, he said.
According to the president of the TRC, the students who have seen the documentary film with the images come home with something new. The lie of the salons will gradually disappear, the manipulation of parents towards children will also disappear. He took advantage of this opportunity to invite students to be messengers of peace or actors of peaceful coexistence and reconciliation, and to maintain unity in their diversities.
For him, “the truth helps the country to move forward, it frees men, it enlightens, it is community therapy.”
The students participating in this session praised the work carried out by the TRC and they deplored the fact that they learned the history of other countries, whereas that of Burundi is written by Europeans and certain Burundians, while hiding many things. They asked the TRC to continue research to write the true history of Burundi.