Last Updated: Thursday, 18 January 2018, 16:17 GMT

Burundi: Update to Early August 1995

Publisher WRITENET
Author Gérard Prunier
Publication Date 1 August 1995
Cite as WRITENET, Burundi: Update to Early August 1995, 1 August 1995, available at: [accessed 19 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


'In Burundi small massacres are bubbling on, mostly unreported'. This brutal but accurate observation from a journalist[2] is the main thing to remember about Burundi in the last four months. Violence is not sporadic, it is constant even if irregular. There are short paroxysms and relative lulls, but it never lets up and it can increasingly be seen as an undeclared civil war. The Brazilian political scientist Paulo Pinheiro, sent to Burundi as UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur in June, estimated that between May and July of this year Hutu guerrillas killed about 25 soldiers weekly, while around 200 civilians died as a result either of Army reprisals, militia killings or guerrilla attacks[3] In order to give an idea of the scale of everyday violence in Burundi, we give here a small 'calendar of violent events' for two recent two week periods[4]

1 to 15 June 1995

1 June:  The Army cordons off the mostly Hutu areas of Kinama and Kamenge in the capital Bujumbura. Humanitarian organizations are forbidden to enter the militarised zone.

3 June:  In the Rumonge area, a FRODEBU militant is murdered, probably by Tutsi militiamen. He is the fourth such victim in this area in a week.

4 June:  In Bugendana commune (Gitega Province) unidentified assailants riding in a car open fire and throw grenades on crowds assembled in front of two churches, one Catholic, the other Protestant: 14 killed, 40 wounded.

6 June:  Three people murdered in Gahombo commune (Province of Kayanza) by unidentified killers for unknown reasons.

7 June:  In Gatara (Ngozi Province) the local Administrator is assassinated, probably by Forces de Défense de la Démocratie (FDD, Hutu radicals) guerrillas. 2,000 soldiers finally occupy Kamenge and Kinama after one week of sporadic fighting. The operation's final results are 224 houses burnt down, 138 people killed and 24 vehicles destroyed[5] 40,000 have fled into the surrounding hills, including the guerrillas the operation was supposed to flush out.

8 June:  Hutu guerrillas massacre ten Tutsi in the Musaga area of Bujumbura.

9 June:  The Army tries to hunt down the Musaga killers. One casualty.

10 June:            A World Food Programme (WFP) food convoy is attacked as it comes into Musaga. No casualties. In Rusarasi (Kirundo Province) Army elements helped by internally displaced Tutsi from the Twa and Marembo locations kill seven Hutu, kidnap two and wound an unknown number.

11/12 June:       During a former graduates' celebration at the Kamenge High School an unidentified gunman opens fire on the crowd for unknown reasons killing one Tutsi and one Hutu.

12 June:            Sans Echec Tutsi militiamen attack the Hutu students on the University campus, killing thirty of them as they try to hide in their dormitories.

13 June:            At Gihanga (Bubanza Province) unknown attackers kill five people at a local social club.

14 June:            In Butara (Cibitoke Province) a convoy carrying, among others, the US Ambassador Robert Krueger, the OAU Representative in Burundi Léandre Bassole and the Burundese Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Marie Ngendahayo comes under fire from unknown assailants. Two escort soldiers killed and five wounded, two civilians wounded. The three VIPs escape only because they were riding in an armoured car. Responding to Army accusations the FDD later denies being responsible for the attack, saying it had no reason to want to kill the targets[6]6, a not implausible denial since Ambassador Krueger had been very vocal in denouncing Army exactions in the Province of Muyinga earlier in the year. Tutsi militiamen are the most likely culprits.

15 to 31 July 1995

15 July: In three separate ambushes on roads around the capital Bujumbura seven persons are killed and six wounded[7] Various secondary schools in Cibitoke Province are the targets of grenade attacks causing 20 wounded[8] Both sets of violent actions can be attributed to FDD guerrillas.

17 July: The house of the Bujumbura Province Governor is machine-gunned during the night. No victims. Most likely an FDD action.

20 July: Two pupils killed during exams in secondary schools, most likely by FDD. In Musigati commune (Bubanza Province) the Gakindo Coffee Factory is attacked by 600 armed guerrillas. They kill the manager and an unspecified number of watchmen and leave with fifteen tons of coffee.

21 July: Eight Tutsi students killed on the Bujumbura University Campus by the FDD in reprisal for the June killings of Hutu students (see above 11/12 June 1995); shortly after a Tutsi family of six is slaughtered at home in the Bwiza area of the capital.

23 July: Shooting on the University campus as the Army tries to flush out the FDD commandoes who have been hiding there since the killings two days before. No casualty figures.

24 July: Two buses machine-gunned in Northern Bujumbura by Tutsi militiamen: 10 killed, 15 wounded.

After an unusual lull which might be due to under reporting, there was a new massacre on 7 August when Hutu guerrillas coming from neighbouring Zaire slaughtered 58 internally displaced Tutsi at the Kaburantwa Camp in Cibitoke Province. In reprisal the Army seems to have burnt down several Hutu villages, causing an unknown number of casualties.

These two sets of chronologically-ordered events have not been included because of a taste for sensationalism. They are here to try to give an idea of the somewhat haunted quality of life in Burundi today. This is due to the fact that normal life tries to go on in spite of the constant military patrols and the ever-present fear of the casually-tossed grenade or the randomly-fired machine-gun burst. Two sets of realities are coexisting and much of the terrorist activity is aimed at disrupting ordinary life. Many of the terrorist targets (church gatherings, buses, marketplaces, schools) belong to the domain of everyday life, thus endowing the most ordinary forms of daily routine with a sort of humble death-defying heroism.

1.1 The State of the Economy

In such a situation the economy is of course disastrously affected. The fact that Hutu peasants are cut off from the towns held by Tutsi (and that Tutsi middlemen are correspondingly cut off from the countryside where they risk their lives if they try to venture in the hills without armed escort) completely disrupts the economy. It is very hard to get agricultural inputs to those who need them and producers find it hard to sell their products, all the more so since, as we shall see, the FDD has now made economic disruption one of its prime targets. Coffee is often robbed at gunpoint, thus reducing further the only sizable source of foreign exchange for the government. Transport is becoming so hazardous as to be almost impossible without armed escort, at least in the northern provinces (Cibitoke, Bubanza, Kayanza, Ngozi, Kirundo and Muyinga) where most of the violence is taking place. The size of the economy was reduced by 8.5 per cent in 1993 and diminished by a further 12 per cent in 1994.

1.2 The Political Game

Politics in Burundi is both deadly and hypocritical. Roughly, one can distinguish five players:

The first one is FRODEBU, still in a highly theoretical fashion referred to as 'the ruling party' in press agency dispatches. Those moderate MPs and FRODEBU politicians who remain around President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya and still try operate the Government Agreement of September 1994 are increasingly seen as political non-entities by their Tutsi opponents and as traitors by their fellow Hutu. The President himself is often operating under near impossible political conditions. Thus in mid-May he was forced to go to Dar-es-Salaam to try to persuade the Tanzanian government to release an arms shipment from China, destined for the Forces Armées Burundaises (FAB), at a time when the Army had recently been guilty of considerable human rights violations in its fight against Hutu guerrillas in the northeastern Muyinga Province. While the President was going to the Tanzanian capital negotiating for more guns for the Army which was killing his electorate, Térence Nsanze, Secretary-General of the ABASA Tutsi extremist party, was cynically commenting that 'the Burundi Army, which has no connections direct or indirect with any militia, political party or ethnic group, needed these weapons to defeat the 'armed gangs' now impairing security'.

In a similar way the 'Exceptional Measures Crisis' was symptomatic of the ambiguity of the notion of 'security' as defined by the various political actors. On 19 June the President requested the parliament to adopt a number of exceptional measures - a curfew, a ban on political demonstrations, adoption of a new laissez-passer, and division of the country into new Army-administered 'security zones'. These measures were not necessarily bad in themselves, but they carried somewhat sinister implications as they were urged by the Army and extremist Tutsi circles. Although supported by some moderates and by the United Nations Special Representative for Burundi, Ahmed Ould Abdallah, this barely disguised request for powers that could in fact develop into unrestrained repression caused a crisis within the parliamentary majority. As a result, both the special measures and President Nitbantunganya's request to be allowed to rule by decree were rejected by a majority vote. Tutsi extremist circles were furious and about twenty FRODEBU MPs who had voted against the proposed measures immediately fled to Zaire in fear of their lives.

These events occurred just as Foreign Minister Jean-Marie Ngendahayo resigned in spectacular fashion, using the June Organization of African Unity (OAU) session to flee the country and join his family in exile in South Africa. The Minister commented that he felt useless in a situation where the government was powerless to ensure the security of its citizens, and where the international community seemed to have lost interest in the question. UN Special Envoy Ould Abdallah provided a characteristic no-nonsense comment, saying that 'he hoped the departure of the Foreign Minister will open the eyes of the Burundese political leaders and make them renounce their ridiculous and morbid calculations to think more about their country'. To many observers, Ngendahayo's resignation seemed to sound the death knell for the hopes of the moderates.

This is the other player in the mostly Hutu camp. The Conseil National de Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD) is the political organization while the Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (FDD) constitute the military arm. But even here we have to say 'mostly Hutu' because there is still some non-ethnic political dimension, one of the main CNDD leaders, Christian Sendegeya being a Tutsi. CNND was created clandestinely in March 1994 under the leadership of former Interior Minister Léonard Nyangoma. Its strength grew as the Army repression mounted and in April it declared officially that it had created its own army, the FDD. The CNDD is now an organised force based in the Kivu Province of Zaire where it obviously enjoys at least passive support from the Zairean government. It runs a radio transmitter called Radio Rutomorangingo ('the radio that tells the truth') and can probably muster up to 3,000 armed men. It works in direct collaboration with the former Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR), now in exile in the same area of Zaire. It also operates (but more discreetly) from bases in and around the refugee camps in the Ngara district of western Tanzania, causing serious border problems between the two countries. In mid-July the CNDD made public its so-called 'ten commandments for getting rid of Bikomagu's army':

1.         Support the FDD

2.         Set up local FDD committees

3.         Stop supplying food to urban centres

4.         Refuse to obey local administrators

5.         Elect alternative clandestine administrators

6.         Refuse to pay taxes

7.         Pay taxes instead to the FDD committees

8.         Refuse ethnic hatred and fight for democracy

9.         Refuse the money offered by the Army to guerrillas who surrender

10.       Remain faithful to the political legacy of the late President Ndadaye.

In spite of the apparent 'political correctness' of some of these propositions, the Tutsi population has no trust in the CNDD/FDD, which is perceived as a Burundese version of the Rwandese interahamwe militia, which is notorious for its part in the genocide. The FDD cooperation with the former FAR, its terror tactics targetting both innocent Hutu civilians and internally displaced Tutsi, and some ethnically very questionable interpretations of the situation by Léonard Nyangoma personally seem indeed to confirm the worst of Tutsi fears

The third player in this violent field is the official opposition UPRONA party. Given a disproportionate share of power in the September 1994 Government Agreement, it has since then seemed bent on getting even more, raising doubts as to its real desire to see the agreement work. Many people believe that its ultimate aim is to regain by hook or by crook the power it lost through the ballot box in June 1993. Even if UPRONA cannot be entirely lumped together with the extremist micro-parties and armed Tutsi militias, it is now if not a party of extremists at least a party led by extremists. Its proclaimed desire to 'solve the crisis in a peaceful fashion' seems, to say the least, disingenuous. For example, when an OAU mission came to Bujumbura in mid-July to try to initiate new discussions between the protagonists of the political conflict, the UPRONA chairman Charles Mukasi used the fact that the OAU mission was proposing Addis-Ababa as the venue as an excuse to refuse to attend and to declare:

'We suggest that if people have anything to say to one another they should do so within Burundi's borders .... We are not against anything whatsoever. We are rather in favour of an idea which is the Peace Process. This should be created and developed within the borders of the country .... If the international community became exasperated and lost interest in what is happening to us I would be very happy because this would force us to move forward rapidly'.

The FRODEBU Chairman Jean Minani who supported the idea of taking the talks to Addis-Ababa retorted that

'he [Mukasi] knows very well that talks here in Burundi are nearly impossible, when the city of Bujumbura is being held hostage by Tutsi militias patrolling, doing night rounds, killing people everyday without the police, the gendarmes or the Army being able to do anything'.

UPRONA public positions are mostly of the same style, seeming to permanently pretend that there is no major problem, that Tutsi militias do not exist, that Tutsi extremist parties are in fact democratic and that it is only the ill-will of FRODEBU which blocks the political dialogue. In such a climate its constant call to FRODEBU moderates to share with them the fight against FDD Hutu extremists does seem rather biased.

The Tutsi extremists
These operate under various guises. There is a number of small parties (ABASA, RADDES, PARENA, PIT, PSD) with varying degrees of violent involvement in the situation. These parties act as a form of 'extremism with a democratic face' since they have been given a disproportionate number of government positions through the September 1994 power-sharing agreement. They also reflect a variety of small but important Tutsi regional and clan particularities. We fully agree with the judgement of one of the best historians of Burundi, René Lemarchand, when he writes:

'We must reject once and for all the notion of a monolithic Tutsi-dominated hegemonic bloc and acknowledge the existence of deeper ethnoregional currents ... there is thus a complex relationship between the omnipresent menace of Hutu insurrection and the subterranean struggles among Tutsi elements.'

As Lemarchand himself noted, the degree of conflict among Tutsi is inversely proportional to the perceived threat from the Hutu. It has thus considerably diminished since October-November 1993 but it is far from having disappeared. One might for example say that PARENA, the party of former dictator Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (1976-1987), represents the purest of banyabururi feelings. These political parties have close links with the armed Tutsi militias, described in the original paper, in spite of the vehement denials of the interested parties. Both the extremist parties and the militias have close contacts with certain segments of the Army. The key man for these contacts is Lieutenant Colonel Jérome Sinduhije, a former member of dictator Michel Micombero's ruling Military Council at the time of the massive 1972 massacres, (estimated 200,000 casualties) and today the representative of the micro-parties of the extremist opposition in the Conseil National de Sécurité (CNS), the Super Government set up by the September 1994 power-sharing agreement. The collusion between party extremists, Army and militiamen can be glaring. UPRONA, for instance, on 22 June organised at its headquarters a meeting between high-ranking Army officers and militants of the SOJEDEM militia to arrange for the physical protection of the militia leader, Brother Déo Niyonzima.

In spite of their highly aggressive attitude, Tutsi extremists are acutely aware of the fact that they are now probably heading for civil war and that the demographic reality is against them. In a rather weary-sounding internal document, PARENA leader J.B. Bagaza commented that the civil war seemed almost unavoidable and that if it went badly for the Tutsi they would have to plan 'a thorough evacuation of all [Tutsi] women and children to Rwanda, the only neighbouring country which is not hostile to us'. He continued by observing that guerrilla war after a military defeat was hardly thinkable because 'for guerrilla war one must have the sympathy of the population and the population in the hills is now almost exclusively Hutu', and concluded that the Burundese Tutsi should be ready to open political discussions aiming at an ethnic partition. Thus we can see that the extremists feel, probably with good reason, that a point of no-return has already been reached. One could add that the civil war they are talking about is not a matter of supposition but a conflict that is already established even if at low intensity.

The Army
The last element in the political equation is the Army itself, the Forces Armées Burundaises (FAB). Several sources agree that Army casualities could be running at an average of about three men per day, perhaps 1,100 to 1,200 per year, theoretically a perfectly acceptable casualty rate for an army the size of Burundi's, but the problem is not a theoretical one. It is primarily a problem of morale and, as a consequence, a political one. The Army's nerves are frayed in a typical guerrilla situation, where fire can come from anywhere, at any time, and where civilians are sullen and uncooperative. As a result of this tension the Army often over-reacts and kills civilians indiscriminately when it cannot get at the guerrillas it is trying to hunt down. The situation risks becoming even worse when within three or four months there will not be any more money left in the State's coffers to pay the soldiers. Chief of Staff Colonel Bikomagu will then run the risk of completely losing control of his soldiers who have up to now remained trigger-happy but relatively disciplined. This poses the question of the political stance of the FAB. Until now, deterred by the unanimous international condemnation of the October 1993 botched-up putsch attempt, the FAB have been somewhat chastened and have taken a back seat in the political contest, leaving UPRONA, the extremist micro-parties and even the militia thugs to occupy the scene. But there are many signs that the Army is far from happy about the behaviour of these various proxies and that if things get worse its reluctance to stage a coup might diminish. A coup would of course step up the fight with the Hutu by pushing the vast majority of the population into the extremist CNDD/FDD camp. It would be welcomed by a number of civilian Tutsi but not by all since the educated elite is keenly aware of the country's isolation.


2.1 The Regional Context

This is the most important in the short term. Zaire is probably the country which has the strongest potential influence on the situation. Zaire shelters not only the 'bona fide' political exiles but also the forces of CNDD/FDD. Raids such as the one which left 58 people dead at Kaburantwa on 7 August come from Zaire and the violent broadcasts of Radio Rutomorangingo also come from there. This led President Nitbantunganya to try to negotiate directly with President Mobutu Sese Seko at his home town of Gbadolite to try to have the Zairian authorities curb the guerrilla activities. It unfortunately does not seem to have been a very successful meeting since the guerrilla activities went on unabated. The geopolitical reasoning which seems to be behind Zaire's position is that it is taken for granted that there is a Uganda-Rwanda-Burundi axis and that this whole 'alliance' is run by President Museveni. Given the strong and long-standing enmity between Museveni and Mobutu, Zaire supports both the ex-FAR and the CNDD/FDD against the Rwandese and Burundese regimes. This sharing of 'safe areas' for both sets of armed opponents and the shared nature of their ethnic positions has led to a high degree of collaboration between Rwandese and Burundese radical Hutu, going as far as former interahamwe militiamen fighting alongside FDD guerrillas in Burundi.

The other country in the area with a major input into the situation is Rwanda. There have been numerous contacts between the two governments to try to send their respective refugees back home but without much success except for the 'old' Rwandese refugees in Burundi who had decided to go back on their own anyway. As for the 'new' refugees, whether Rwandese in Burundi who had come in April-May 1994 or Burundese in Rwanda, who had come in October-November 1993, they are not very enthusiastic about return plans, and if forced to move will tend to go either to Zaire or to Tanzania, depending on which border is the closest. These refugees are almost all solidly Hutu. But if the Burundese refugees in Rwanda tend (or tended, since most have left) to be under strong radical political influence from the PALIPEHUTU, the same is not true of the Rwandese refugees in Burundi. These, on the whole, tend to have stayed clear of violent politics, although small nuclei of interahamwe activists are present in their midst. Nevertheless, their relative political neutrality has not earned them peace in the Burundese context and they are frequently submitted to militia and Army harassment. This has led to their progressive radicalization and it can be expected that they will soon, like their brethren in Zaire or Tanzania, act as political relays for extremist Hutu politicians, although probably more FDD than Rwandese, given their geographical positioning.

There have been numerous rumours of military cooperation between the RPA (Rwandese Patriotic Army) and the FAB, as an answer to the cooperation between the ex-FAR and the CNDD/FDD. These rumours have never been convincingly substantiated except in a limited way during the anti-guerrilla operation in Muyinga Province in late March 1995. But the visit by Rwandese Minister of Defence and RPA strongman Paul Kagame to Bujumbura in the midst of the anti-Hutu repression in Kamenge and Kinama raised new fears that this cooperation indeed existed as part of a kind of 'Tutsi International'. Reports that some of the soldiers who occupied Kamenge and Kinama spoke among themselves in the mixture of English and Swahili which is so typical of RPA hard-core units further fuelled these rumours.

The last country in the region to have an input into the Burundese situation is Tanzania. Tanzania is now suffering from the enormous influx of refugees from both Rwanda and Burundi in a peripheral area of its territory where the newcomers now often outnumber the native population. When 40,000 Rwandese Hutu refugees who had found asylum in northern Burundi started fleeing to Tanzania at the beginning of April after being submitted to militia attacks, the Tanzanian authorities noticeably tensed up. The next day they decided to close their border, leaving a crowd (which by then had grown to 50,000) stranded. On 10 June, Tanzania protested against repeated incursions of the FAB into its territory as they chased FDD guerrillas, and tension between the two countries grew, Tanzania eventually deploying troops on the Burundese border. Every violent incident in Burundi tended to send new waves of refugees across the border, and after two such violent incidents, Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Rwegasira declared in Addis-Ababa during an OAU meeting that 'killings in Burundi are no longer an internal matter only'. The exasperation of the Tanzanian government has led some circles in the OAU (and at times in the UN) to think that Tanzania might be ready to intervene militarily. This is very probably an exaggeration, but limited Tanzanian military action can not be excluded if the FAB continue to treat the other side of the border as a free-fire zone.

2.2 The International Community

International attitudes towards Burundi are characterised by a certain amount of 'compassion fatigue' in the face of an apparently absolutely intractable situation. The United States have taken the lead among those countries who remain somewhat interested in the fate of the small Eastern African Republic. Following the particularly high profile statement of US Ambassador Robert Krueger when he denounced Army exactions during the anti-guerrilla operations in Muyinga Province in March, the United States Congress took the initiative to convene a special joint meeting on Burundi of both the Senate and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committees, presided over respectively by Senator Nancy Kassebaum and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Although both committees decided to keep closely monitoring the situation and although President Clinton personally expressed his sympathy and support for the action of Ambassador Krueger after he was shot at in an ambush on 14 June, the follow-up seems to have been theoretical rather than practical. Meetings of representatives of the two committees with NGOs and journalists appear to have yielded very few concrete results. The Synod of US Catholic Bishops came out with a resolution demanding to 'set up an International Commission of Inquiry through the agency of the United Nations so that those responsible for atrocities can be tried and promptly sentenced', a recommendation which strikes any careful observer of the political scene in Burundi as extraordinarily unrealistic.

France still plays a limited role, but it is hampered in its action by still-present memories of the criticism of its policy in Rwanda during 1990-1994. An accusation by Amnesty International in early April of French 'tolerance' of torture by the FAB was immediately denied by the French Ministry of Defence. But according to certain French Foreign Affairs personnel, members of the French Military Mission to Burundi, like their ersthwhile counterparts in Rwanda, have a degree of sympathy and identification with their charges which causes them to overlook the Army's repressive excesses. Ambassador Krueger's vigorous denunciation of Army exactions in Muyinga Province at the time and French Cooperation Minister Bernard Debré's counter-denunciation of Mr Krueger as a 'warmonger' did not improve matters, since they fitted painfully into the pattern of Franco-'Anglo-Saxon' rivalry which had been evident during the Rwandese crisis of the preceding year.

At the level of international organizations, the United Nations seemed somewhat helpless. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's visit to Bujumbura in July caused remarkably little interest either among the members of the political class or in the population at large. A young Burundese commented that 'we Burundese have seen so many visitors come and go during the past two years without bringing us peace that today we feel totally disenchanted. The Secretary General's subsequent appeal for the Burundese to embrace 'peace, tolerance and national reconciliation' did not seem to have a noticeable effect.

In spite of the fact that the Organization of African Unity had decided on the eve of its 31st session to make Burundi into a test case of its peace-making capabilities, there did not seem to be much progress in that direction. Two delegations were sent to Burundi, one on 30 May-2 June and the other on 11-14 July 1995. They achieved almost nothing, largely due to the obstinate attitude of UPRONA and the other opposition parties, who insisted that any talks must take place in Bujumbura, where they knew very well that the physical security of FRODEBU delegates could not be guaranteed. At this stage, it was even impossible to mention the extra-parliamentary players such as the extremist Tutsi militia or the FDD, in spite of the fact that no solution is imaginable without integrating them into the political debate. Finally, on 21 July the OAU had to cancel its proposed conference after the total refusal of the opposition to attend. This led the organization's Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim to mention the possibility of an armed intervention. Mr Salim's Tanzanian nationality and his weight in his country's politics (he is a former Foreign Minister and a well-known member of the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi party) gave his words an aura of warning.


Even if US Under-Secretary of State for African Affairs George Moose's proposal of a division between a 'Tutsiland' and a 'Hutuland' was condemned by President Ntibantunganya as 'abominable', it is likely that the idea will resurface in the coming months or years if (or rather when) further massacres occur. Even if this 'solution' is completly unworkable, if only because it would turn the whole fourteen million Barundi and Banyarwanda into permanent refugees, partial elements of such an evolution are likely to occur on a limited and regional ad hoc basis. In fact, one might say that a fragmentary partition of populations has already occurred in Burundi since the October-November 1993 wave of massacres, with the Tutsi in towns and trading centers and the Hutu occupying the countryside. Such developments, even if limited, will involve vast population movements and the outlook for UNHCR in this particular area of the world is one of continued and probably expanding involvement, with increasingly blurred distinctions between Rwandese and Burundese refugees and between international refugees and internally displaced persons.


The views expressed in the papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily those of UNHCR.


[2] 'Tutsis and Hutus: more blood to come', The Economist, 22 July 1995.

[3] 'Burundi: a creeping coup', Africa Confidential, Vol. 36, No 16 (4 August 1995).

[4] In order to balance events both chronologically and politically, we have chosen two separate periods of two weeks - the first two weeks of June 1995, when there was a predominance of Army and Tutsi militia violence and the last two weeks of July 1995 when Hutu guerrilla violence was in the ascendant. The first chronology is largely based on the one given in Dialogue, No 184 (July-August 1995), pp 116-119. The second is based on a variety of sources which will be referenced separately for each event. We have selected violent events only, to the exclusion of political or diplomatic developments.

[5] FRODEBU Secretariat communiqué, 20 June 1995.

[6] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 15 June 1995.

[7] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 17 July 1995; Le Monde, 18 July 1995.

[8] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 18 July 1995.

[1] This paper provides an update to the WRITENET paper 'Burundi: descent into chaos or a manageable crisis?', Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 14, No 1-2 (Spring/Summer 1995), pp. 128 - 171.

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