30 December 2015

Rwanda: A Bad Year Ends Badly for Burundians

editorial

Spare a thought for our Burundian neighbors, and here we mean the millions of innocent civilians held hostage by a cabal that has made an illegal power grab.

At a time when the rest of the world is enjoying the festive season taking enjoyable breaks from their work, innocent Burundians wake up each day in dread of what that day will bring. Scarcely a day goes by without a corpse or corpses being picked from the streets or ditches or swamps.

Men, women and children are being arrested - violently kidnapped is the more precise description - to be thrown into Nkurunziza's torture chambers. Dead bodies with gruesome tell tale injuries turn up regularly. Law and order have totally broken down.

Appalling horror after horror is what Burundians have become accustomed to, especially in the capital Bujumbura.

The regime of Peter Nkurunziza is a throw back to some of the most vicious, monstrous governments of this continent of the early post-independence years of the late sixties, to eighties.

It seems Nkurunziza's aspiration however is to do even worse. The man is committed to igniting an ethnic war after which he would find his perfect excuse to perpetrate genocide against the country's Tutsis.

Those who have not followed the utterances of this regime may imagine this statement to be alarmist. It is not. The rhetoric of the speaker of that country's parliament for example whereby he promises members of the Imbonerakure militias plots of land for "doing work" know exactly what coded language he is using to incite ethnic Hutu youths to go on a murderous rampage against their Tutsi neighbors.

Rwanda knows language like this very well. It is language that was very commonly used by extremists and hate-mongers here to propel their genocidal agenda in the run-up to the Genocide.

Who will stop Nkurunziza and his government?

The African union is on the sidelines as usual issuing statements no one pays attention to. They have been talking of sending an AU force into Burundi to stop the massacres, but beyond that no one seems to have an idea how.

What troops will they use? Who will pay them? And should the Nkurunziza regime decline the presence of that force - as it predictably has - what then? Will that theoretical force enter Burundi, guns blazing, to subdue the hostile fire that will greet them, and then proceed to protect the Burundian population?

No one is saying anything at all about all this.

Sadly it must be concluded that no outsider will come to the rescue of Burundians.

The best the world can seem to offer is the empty talks being "mediated" by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

Innocent Burundians - conscientious Hutus and their Tutsi neighbors - may by now have realized the fight is theirs, and theirs alone.

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