BUJUMBURA March 25th (ABP) – The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC-CVR) organized on Friday, March 24, 2023, in Bujumbura, a meeting with all the administrative officials of the Bujumbura City Council to inform them about its achievements from 2018 until 2022, in order to take lessons and inform their constituents in turn.
The deputy chairman of the TRC, Clément Noé Ninziza, indicated that the ultimate goal of that meeting was to be understood and to provide clarification to those who have not yet understood the mission of the commission. It was also a question of giving opportunities to the various administrative officials to be able to observe and review the painful past so that they can avoid it with all energy in order to preserve the future of our country.
“We want the current generation to be able to learn from the past in order to finally be able to serve the country calmly and in the construction of the harmony of the people of Burundi”, the deputy chairman of the TRC underlined. People ought to know the truth of the past to distinguish between good and evil, he insisted.
Mr. Ninziza pointed out that this commission has already interviewed 1,030 people in 10 provinces of the country and exhumed 19,897 victims of 1972 in 190 mass graves. He added that the TRC has already described as “genocide against the Bahutu” the killings suffered by that community throughout the country in 1972-1973. It also qualified as a “crime against humanity” the killings committed against the Bahutu, the Batutsi of the south-west and the Batwa of Mwaro in 1972-1973.
The participants had the opportunity to express themselves in relation to the presentation of the TRC on those crimes committed in the past. This is for example Mrs. Marie-Claire Inamahoro, aged 50, who testified to having lost her father during the very crisis. She said she saw the perpetrators of the crime fifteen years later, when they returned to look for her brothers. She proposed that there be partial and final mourning at the national level.
TRC Secretary Pascasie Nzigamasabo noted that Mrs. Inamahoro shares the same view with TRC. She also pointed out that the TRC made that recommendation in the report it sent to the country’s high authorities.
To those who do not understand why the TRC would have qualified the mass killings of 1972-173 as “genocide” when the UN has not yet spoken, the deputy chair of the TRC replied that in the mission of the commission, it is specified that it has the duty to qualify the crimes of the past. He asked those who still have concerns to read the law governing the TRC, stressing that the activities of the TRC fall within the framework of transitional justice.
As the commission is made up of Burundians who are in search for the truth, it must do its duty in accordance with the law without however waiting for the decision from outside. This qualification was made after consulting both national and international experts, TRC secretary Nzigamasabo reassured.