BUJUMBURA December 13th (ABP) – “an ethnic group does not kill, it is individuals and poor governance that kill,” the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), Mr. Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, told the press on Wednesday December 7, 2022, on the sidelines of the briefing on the missions, achievements and prospects of the CVR, to diplomats and representatives of international organizations accredited to Burundi.
“We meet with these diplomats because they are on mission in Burundi, they need to know Burundi in all its facets because they talk about the economy, the various commissions in place, economic and community life when they report,” Mr. Ndayicariye noted.
He added that the truth about the painful past of Burundi is an important aspect because it is a mechanism of transitional justice which manages the past to enlighten the population and the international community which was in Burundi in 1972-1973, some diplomats of which even wrote about those tragic years.
According to Ambassador Ndayicariye, diplomats are informed so that they understand the history of Burundi, since no one has written about the mass graves and the mass killings of 1972-1973. He pointed out that through the activities entrusted to the CVR, the perpetrators still alive realize that their hidden truth comes out of mass graves, archives, testimonies of widows and orphans.
According to him, if we hide the truth about the wound of the past, it is impossible to build peace, unity and community cohesion because, he said, there are no solid buildings that are erected on quicksand (the absence of truth). Mr. Ndayicariye said that a truth in the service of reconciliation is characterized by the principle “no manhunt and no revenge”. A country that wants to take off towards lasting peace is a country that knows how to learn from its violent past, which knows how to distinguish between the killer and the innocent and which comes out of globalization, underlined the chairman of the CVR.
Given that there was the spoliation of goods and properties from certain people in 1972 and that the victims deserve to be rehabilitated, Mr. Ndayicariye said that one cannot approach that heavy issue of looted and spoliated goods without knowing the victims.
Moreover, the CVR chairman took the opportunity to reveal that through the law which is under review, the work previously entrusted to the National Commission for Lands and Other Property (CNTB) will soon be assigned to the CVR.
According to him, the public authorities would have noticed that the CVR holds a wealth of information which would allow it to address that issue because, he explained, the archives, the testimonies and the information available allow it to build an approach methodology to bring together people who have been robbed or their families and people who have seized other people’s property.
Faced with this question, he added, it is necessary to use a methodology that does not frighten, but which solves the problem and which engages the dialogue between the illegitimate owner and the real owner. “It is a work of wisdom, investigation, listening and which requires a process of mediation, reconciliation and negotiation between the occupier and the legitimate owner”, concluded the chairman of the CVR during the interview given to the press.