GITEGA January 13th (ABP) – Burundian Senators, together with some members of the Bureau of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR) of Burundi, carried out on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, a guided tour of various emblematic sites of mass graves of Gitega province (center of the country), where more than 10,988 human remains of people brutally killed in the years 1971-1972 were exhumed.
The senators began the visit to Giheta commune precisely at the Mashitsi site where they found four mass graves in which the CVR unearthed more than 1970 human remains of victims killed in 1972. They continued the visit to the Mutobo site where a house was built over a mass grave. The senators closed that visit by getting informed about the state of conservation of those human remains in the temporary shelter located near the printshop of the center, based in the headquarters of Gitega commune, where there are bones of more than 10,988 victims killed in Gitega province.
The Second Vice President of the Senate, Cyriaque Nshimirimana, recalled that the Senate has always accompanied the CVR in the search for the truth, in particular by organizing, throughout the country, dialogue sessions to sensitize the people in order to tell the truth to that commission about the atrocities that have taken place in their communities. According to him, the senate continues to support the CVR in that noble mission of seeking the truth. He indicated that indeed, the atrocities of 1971-1972 constitute in reality a genocide against the Hutus, a crime against humanity, against the Tutsi and the Twa ethnic groups. He also pointed out that beyond the loss of human lives at the family level, it was also a huge loss at the national level in terms of development, work, economy, to name but a few. Based on this, the second vice president of the senate called on the Burundians to first be compassionate. To that end, he suggested that the descendants of the victims of the 1972 killings should try to outdo themselves so as not to fall into the temptation of revenge. He also called on the descendants of the alleged perpetrators not to be barriers to the truth, taking into account that they were not consulted by their parents. According to him, it is time to dare publicly ask for forgiveness on behalf of the people of Burundi. He also pointed out that in order not to fall into those atrocities once more, parents will have to avoid teaching their children discord and will have to know how to upbring them by giving them messages of cohesion, forgiveness and compassion.
It is for that reason that, according to him, the Senate proposes to the government of Burundi that it have a large well-compartmentalized monument to keep separately the remains of the victims of all the crises that the country has known, and this for the national memory. According to him, this will facilitate cohesion, cohabitation and good understanding among Burundians.
It is worthy to note that the senators suggested to the CVR to organize such a trip for other institutions of a political, religious nature or civil societies, so that everyone has a common interpretation of the 1979 events.