Burundi: Update to End June 1996

  • Author: Gérard Prunier
  • Document source:
  • Date:
    1 July 1996


On the political level, there has been no convergence or cohesion leading towards implementation of the (September 1994) government convention .... Part of the politico-administrative machinery still has an ambivalent attitude in relation to the security operation .... Our partners and friends are discouraged and ask themselves more and more whether we will be able to avoid a catastrophe .... The coalition of allied forces of the Rwandan and Burundian genocide perpetrators is a reality today .... On the economic level, regression is complete [war has led] to a huge decrease in production resulting in food shortages .... Public finance has deteriorated sharply following a decrease in the State's revenues .... Burundi is unable to honour its foreign debt commitments and budgetary assistance has been replaced by humanitarian and emergency assistance .... The year 1996 will be an extremely difficult year.[1]

The events of the first half of 1996 have unfortunately fully justified the grim forecast of Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo's New Year's message to the Nation. And first and foremost among the many ills affecting Burundi has been a drastic increase in the nature and scope of the political violence affecting the Central African country.

1. The Expanding Pattern of Violence

During 1994 and 1995 political violence had been mostly restricted to the northern provinces of Muyinga, Kirundo, Ngozi, Kayanza, Bubanza and Cibitoke as well as to Bujumbura itself. This means that roughly 60 to 65 per cent of the national territory had remained free of violence once the wave of killings following President Melchior Ndadaye's murder had receded (October-November 1993). Starting right at the beginning of the year on 3 January 1996 a Forces de Défense de la Démocratie (FDD) guerrilla attack in Rumonge commune (Bururi Province) left seven dead and twenty wounded.[2] Violence in Bururi had a special symbolical meaning since this province was the cradle of the politico-military leadership which had ruled Burundi uninterruptedly since 1965. All three presidents between 1965 and 1993 had come from the traditionally "low" Tutsi-Hima lineages of Bururi and had chosen their closest aides within the narrow confines of their extended parentage.[3] Thus Hutu guerrilla attacks on Bururi Province had a triple effect: they took war to the main "peace sanctuary" left in the country, they destroyed the image of the Army as an organized body capable of enforcing a minimum level of law and order, at least in its own "ethnic heartland", and they forced the security forces who had been mostly fighting in the North to redeploy southwards. The Bururi Tutsi population being the Army's basic "political constituency" it could not leave it suddenly exposed to violence after over two years of quasi-safety and was forced to stretch itself rather thin to ensure local security. This in turn led to increased fighting on the now more lightly held northern front.[4] Part of the reason for the increased fighting was that the FDD guerrillas had been able to purchase from the Zaïrian Army weapons seized from the ex-Forces Armées Rwandaises (FAR) after the FAR had fled to Zaïre following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.[5]

Faced with a rapidly spreading war the Burundese Army found it harder and harder to contain guerrilla attacks. FDD fighters were able to station themselves permanently in Bururi and by late March the violence had caused more than 10,000 to flee towards the trading centres where the Army could protect them.[6] Due to further fighting the number of internally diplaced (IDPs) was to reach nearly 100,000 by late May.[7] From Bururi the armed clashes spread towards the central province of Gitega in late March-early April,[8] and further to the South-East to Rutana Province.[9]

This increase in fighting caused severe strain within the armed forces. On 14 April Lieutenant-Colonel François Fyiritano was killed in Gitega. According to the authorities he died in combat.[10] But according to other sources he was killed by his officers for refusing to shoot civilians.[11] The case does not seem to be isolated. On 20 April Colonel Dieudonné Nzeyimana was shot dead in Bujumbura by his own men, officially by mistake.[12] But there again other well-informed sources linked his death with a refusal to practise "ethnic cleansing".[13] There were many reports of army massacres such as that of 235 civilians in Buhoro (Gitega Province)[14] or the massacre of another 375 civilians in Kivyuka (Cibitoke Province),[15] giving a feeling that the Army was losing its control, lashing out at the civilian population in its frustration at not being able to effectively contain the mounting guerrilla pressure.

The behaviour of the guerrilla was equally violent. It often struck indiscriminately at civilian IDPs[16] and ambushed road traffic at random, killing even foreign aid workers working with the local population.[17] Local FRODEBU administrators were often targeted by both sides, being accused by the Army of being FDD accomplices and by the guerrilla of being "collaborators of the regime".[18]

2. The Spectre of Genocide

Since the beginning of January, various observers and NGOs have started to worry about the possibility of a Rwanda-style genocide.[19] The March-April extension of the fighting to previously-protected Southern Burundi increased these fears, not only among journalists and observers,[20] but, more significantly, among the various actors of the drama that was unfolding.[21]

Running the risk both of seeming to go against the prevailing opinion and of being later proven wrong by events, this author does not believe that a Rwanda-type genocide is imminent in Burundi. Heretical as it may be, this view is in fact shared by a number of observers.[22] Why should this be so? The reasons are in essence technical. A genocide is a complex process which involves great coordinated effort by a coherent central authority in order to combine military, administrative and logistical capacities. The three recognized examples of genocide in this century (the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks in 1916, the genocide of the Jews and the Gypsies by the Germans in 1942-45 and the genocide of the Rwandese Tutsi by their Hutu fellow countrymen in 1994) all follow the same pattern. All these genocides were planned and carried out by a central government at considerable expense and through strenuous effort. All required significant material means even if in Rwanda these might look rather meagre to the eyes of rich outside observers.

None of this is available in Burundi today. The alarm felt by the local actors or by well-informed outsiders such as UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali or US Presidential Adviser Anthony Lake is quite understandable but it is irrational. It tends in a mechanistic fashion to project the recent Rwanda situation on today's Burundi because of the Tutsi-Hutu parallel and of the geographical proximity. But the reality is quite different. In April 1994 in Rwanda, the government was in full control of the territory where the RPF was not present, which meant 75 per cent of the country. It had both the will and the means to do as it pleased in the area under its control.[23] Today there is no coherent government in Burundi and territorial control by either side is very uncertain. In the aftermath of the failed October 1993 coup and the September 1994 government convention, FRODEBU Hutu and UPRONA Tutsi are sharing power the way sharks share a dead body. The Hutu are the majority, they control large areas of the local civil service and they can rely on the FDD threat lurking in the shadows to project fear; the Tutsi are a minority but they control the Army, the Judiciary and the Central Civil Service, and they can wield the violence of their armed militias as an auxiliary to Army violence. The so-called "government" is in fact a hapless juxtaposition of fiercely rival forces which is most of the time unable to reach any coherent common position and even more unable to act upon it when it manages to achieve one.

This is not a pre-genocide situation. Rather it constitutes a "balance of terror" type of confrontation, excluding at the same time both peace and genocide. It excludes peace because, although they deny it, both sides think a military victory is feasible and because there is a vast accumulation of hostility between the two communities (see further below, section 4, The Political Heart of the Matter). And it also excludes genocide because, regardless of each community's secret wishes, it is simply not materially possible for either side successfully to organize such a large and complex undertaking.

Thus violence will unfortunately remain the order of the day for a long time. But many acts of violence, deplorable as they may be, do not create a genocide, contrary to what the UN Human Rights Commission says.[24] The distinction is neither merely technical nor cynical. Violence is as old as men and wars and is unlikely to disappear as a form of political action in the foreseeable future. Genocides are quite another matter. They are systematically carried out against civilian populations as the implementation of cold-blooded decisions taken by governmental authorities and it is for that reason that they fall under the December 1948 United Nations Convention. Governmental authorities are clearly recognizable and they can be held accountable in case of a genocide. This is not true of in the case of warring parties in the simple course of combat. The only internationally sanctioned recourse is the application of the Geneva Convention, admittedly a text whose spirit seems quite far from the actual military practice in Burundi. Outlawing war and violence, desirable as it may appear, is rather utopian since it would be necessary to actually fight a war to stop one as there are two sides involved in any fighting. Not so in a genocide which is one-sided. The difference should not be seen as purely technical, but also practical. In two and half years of civil war and mutual massacres, there have been approximately 60,000 to 80,000 casualties in Burundi.[25] In a true genocide, such as in Rwanda, ten times that number were killed in two and a half months because the killing was purely one-sided. Burundi is a war situation, a very dirty war indeed, but the "balance of terror" structure of the conflict is in itself the best deterrent to full-blown genocide - or the worst if one looks at it from a moral standpoint.

3. The Question of Foreign Intervention

The first call for foreign intervention at the beginning of the year came from UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.[26] The proposal was rather vague and hinged upon a Zaïrian agreement to the pre-positioning of an international force on Zaïre territory, directly on Burundi's border.[27] The proposal was immediately rejected first by UPRONA[28] and then by the FRODEBU-led government.[29] But the FRODEBU rejection felt contrived. In fact it seemed caused more by a desire to avoid an intra-governmental confrontation than by a genuine feeling of rejection given the fact that the Army and UPRONA were hostile to the idea while the FDD had called for international intervention.[30]

UN action was careful and the Security Council limited itself with sending a fact-finding mission to Burundi.[31] This resulted in a Resolution which only "condemned violence" and "considered" an arms embargo.[32] Charles Petrie, the fact-finding team leader with long experience of the conflict-ridden Great Lakes area, personally thought that it was not sufficient and recommended sending troops.[33] But in late February a vote of the General Assembly removed any prospect of creating a UN-sponsored international military force.[34] This reopened the peace-making field to former US President Jimmy Carter who had earlier put together a three-person team of African "wise men",[35] who were somehow supposed to bring the contending parties to a talking position.[36] On the basis of preliminary contacts he organized a "private" summit in Tunis (17-19 March 1996).[37] While attending the summit, President Ntibantunganya reiterated his views about the intervention i.e. that he doubted that "military intervention was the most efficient solution" and that "the international community had no solution for the Burundian problem" since its only proposal, military intervention, was shaky at best, adding: "A foreign force can intervene in a country but the outcome can never be guaranteed. The UN intervened in Somalia with the great armada of the US superpower. And look at Somalia today."[38]

In fact, the more the topic of intervention was discussed, the more the various players seemed to doubt its wisdom.[39] This exasperated several of the main international actors, especially the US and their local East African allies, Uganda and Tanzania[40] and during an ad hoc meeting in Geneva, the Burundi authorities were warned that the situation was considered to have reached a limit.[41] But "private" mediation had run its course without achieving anything in spite of former President Nyerere's tact, diplomacy and determination. The basic reason for the failure of the talks which had been held in Tanzania was that it was almost entirely impossible to find any common talking ground between the two camps, every fact, every principle, every idea being systematically given two different interpretations by UPRONA and by FRODEBU.[42] Faced with the failure of the mediation by the man who was probably the most able to do anything, the US began to consider sponsoring an intervention by local countries (most likely Uganda and Tanzania). A Regional Summit was convened in Arusha (Tanzania) with discreet US backing. Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), Pasteur Bizimungu (Rwanda) and Daniel Arap Moi (Kenya) were present. But President Mobutu Sese Sseko of Zaïre chose to play down the event by only sending his Foreign Minister, the relatively inexperienced Jean-Marie Kititwa Tumansi.[43] This difference in attitude was immediately perceived, probably rightly, as signalling a Franco-US divergence of views on the situation, something which is not a new phenomenon in this whole crisis.[44] Both President Ntibantunganya (FRODEBU Hutu) and Prime Minister Nduwayo (UPRONA Tutsi) expressed carefully worded conditional support for the principle of foreign intervention.[45] This immediately unleashed violent hostile reactions from the Prime Minister's own party which denounced him as "guilty of high treason".[46] The arrival in Burundi of US presidential experts in charge of exploring the modalities of the intervention did not seem to cool tempers.[47]

Before we turn in the next section to a political analysis of the issues it might be useful at this point to discuss some of the military problems posed by a possible intervention in Burundi. Burundi like its northern twin Rwanda, is a land of thickly cultivated hills. There is hardly any flat ground in the whole country and, apart from the easternmost communes of the Cankuzo, Ruyigi and Rutana provinces bordering on Tanzania, there is hardly any open ground either. Thus visibility and mobility are extremely restricted.

As for the warring sides, they would be extremely difficult to physically pry apart. Before October 1993, Tutsi and Hutu lived according to completely intermingled patterns. The October-November 1993 massacres separated them, the Hutu remaining in the hills (but often not on their hills of origin because they had been displaced by Army sweeps or guerrilla raids or both) and the Tutsi congregating in the small trading centers, the rural boarding schools or the country medical dispensaries where they could be put under some sort of Army protection. But these various locations are very close together and connected by literally thousands of small footpaths which local people know like the back of their hand. This is not the Africa of the wild bush. Man has densely inhabited these lands for hundreds of years and the soil occupation pattern is closer to that of Western France or Southern England than to that of Kenya or Chad. For a foreign military force ignorant of the intricate topography and unaware of the rapid movements possible for those familiar with it, sorting out friend from foe and peaceful civilian from violent militiaman, is going to be a very delicate exercise indeed. The main danger is that an outside military force will sooner or later by mistake hit innocent bystanders who will have been deliberately set up for slaughter by those opposed to the foreign force's presence. In this terrain and faced with pitiless adversaries who consider the civilian population as mere pawns in their game, avoiding such bloody errors would be an almost impossible challenge. This is why a purely military approach, short of overwhelming force as deployed by the Germans in the 1890s when they first occupied the country, is unlikely to succeed. Thus the forging of some sort of a political consensus is all the more important since military might cannot be considered as a workable alternative as it would entail having to kill the very people one has come to protect.

4. The Political Heart of the Matter

In a lucid essay review dealing with two fundamental books on the "culture of ethnocide" developed in Burundi since 1965 Philip Gourevitch remarks that myth has largely replaced historical evaluation in Tutsi and Hutu communal stereotypes.[48] We cannot understand the depth of the problem if we simply refer to clichés like "tribal hatreds" or "African violence". What is now happening in Burundi is neither senseless nor rational: it is an expression of mythologized history in the same way as French and German views of each other were between 1871 and 1914. Every important event is viewed in dichotomized antagonistic fashion according to the ethnic identity of the viewer and the benefit of the doubt is never granted to the other side who is perceived as eternally, perpetually scheming and plotting to destroy you.[49] Group paranoia has been elevated to a quasi cosmic level.

In practical terms, it might be useful to enumerate the various cross-perceptions and accusations which constitute the basic mental equipment of any contemporary Burundese, opposing them term by term according to the prism of ethnic vision.

Hutu    The authors of the October 1993 putsch should have been judged. They were in league with key UPRONA figures. Their remaining in liberty is a basic denial of justice designed to avoid revealing embarassing connections between the Tutsi elite and the putschists.

Tutsi    The authors of the October 1993 putsch were isolated misguided elements. They have "left the country". There is nothing more to be discussed about the whole matter

Hutu    The events (read massacre of Tutsi) of October-November 1993 were acts of "popular self-defence" and they do not have to be discussed.

Tutsi    FRODEBU cadres are guilty of genocide as far as the events of October-November 1993 are concerned. High-ranking members of the Civil Service and the Government should be arrested and tried.

Hutu    The Army commits massacres and collaborates with the Tutsi armed militias.

Tutsi    The Army is a perfectly neutral national body which defends the lives of all law-abiding citizens, regardless of ethnic origin. There are no Tutsi militias.

Hutu    The CNDD and its armed branch the FDD are extremists. But they have been pushed into that position by Tutsi intransigence. They should be included in any future discussions aiming at a durable political settlement.

Tutsi    The CNDD/FDD are ruthless ambitious criminals who aim at nothing less than global genocide on the Rwanda model. They should be fought militarily and never negotiated with.

Hutu    The Tutsi have never accepted the results of the June 1993 democratic election which brought FRODEBU to power and are aiming at illegally overturning the verdict of the ballot box.

Tutsi    The June 1993 elections were not "democratic" they were a product of ethnic hatred whipped up by FRODEBU. Right-thinking Hutu if left to themselves would happily have returned UPRONA to power. In any case FRODEBU has demonstrated its incapacity to govern and power should be "shared" (read "given back to the Tutsi community degree by degree").

Hutu    The Tutsi cannot be trusted. They are just waiting for an occasion to kill us, targeting our elites like in 1972 because we are too numerous to be all disposed of. Their ultimate aim is to regain full power on an ethnic basis, as they had it before 1993.

Tutsi    The Hutu cannot be trusted. They are just waiting for an occasion to kill us all like they did in Rwanda. Their ultimate aim is to acquire full power on an ethnic basis as they did in Rwanda between 1961 and 1994.

The deadly interwoven pieces of that mental jigsaw puzzle are frozen solid. There is one level of discourse reserved for foreigners, especially visiting foreigners who are expected to be players in the international peace-making game. And then there is another level of discourse when locals or "innocuous" (and familiar) foreigners are addressed.

The raw material for this communal elite-driven madness is youth. With over 55 per cent of the population under 18 years of age, its social and economic situation has turned Youth into a real bomb.[50] Not a time bomb, an already exploding bomb. The school system has 629,000 children in primary schools, 35,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 at university. The educated youngsters do not want to go back to farming and they cannot find paid employment. A familiar problem all over Africa. But when it fits into a structure of historical paranoia refined to the level of two distinct and rival subcultures producing antagonistic manichean views of the world these youths become killers.[51] For them death is not all that important. This is something Europeans could understand in the XIVth century but cannot understand today and it hampers their peace efforts because it puts them within philosophical and political frames largely irrelevant to the real experiences of the people they are dealing with. Unless an absolutely basic reassessment of the political approach is made, military intervention in Burundi will simply add itself to the other such unsuccessful attempts in Somalia and in Rwanda.


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


[1] From Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo's New Year's message to the Nation. BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 30 December 1995

[2] Le Monde, 5 January 1996

[3] For more information on this aspect of the Burundi power structure since the overthrow of the monarchy, see René Lemarchand, Burundi: Ethnocide as Discourse and Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

[4] See BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 18 February 1996, Radio France Internationale, 5 March 1996, Radio Burundi, 14 March 1996, Radio France Internationale, 15 March 1996 and Radio Burundi, 20 March 1996.

[5] Amnesty International, Burundi: Armed Groups Kill Without Mercy (London, June 1996), p. 2

[6] Burundi Büro, Press Release, No. 64, Bonn, 27 March 1996; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 28 March 1996; Le Monde, 30 March 1996

[7] Amnesty International, p. 1

[8] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Africa No. 1 [Libreville], 30 March 1996

[9] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 13 April 1996

[10] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 15 April 1996

[11] Amnesty International, p. 2

[12] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Burundi Press Agency, 22 April 1996

[13] Telephone interview with a former high-ranking United Nations civil servant in Burundi. New York, April 1996. The same source added that at about the same time Lieutenant-Colonel Nahigombeye had had to abandon his post as military commander of the Eastern Region and flee to Bujumbura, fearing for his life because of similar reasons.

[14] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting RTBF [Brussels], 5 May 1996. The Minister of Defence made a partial admission about the massacre (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 6 May 1996), then later the same day denied everything (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 6 May 1996).

[15] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 14 May 1996. Father Emmanuel Ntakarutimana refers to the massacre which took place on 3 May 1996, giving more details in the article "Una crisi, quattro chiese", Nigrizia, June 1996.

[16] See for example the massacre of 59 Tutsi IDPs at a camp in Butezi (Ruyigi Province) on 27 May 1996 (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 28 and 29 May 1996).

[17] They killed three Red Cross workers near Cibitoke on 4 June 1996 (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 5 June 1996), which led to the ICRC closing down its operation in Burundi a few days later (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 11 June 1996).

[18] During the FDD offensive on Gitega in mid-April, the local Director of Livestock Services (a Hutu) was killed by the guerrilla, while the provincial governor, Macaire Nahimana, had to flee first to Bujumbura and later to Zaïre after the Army threatened his life (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Burundi Press Agency, 17 and 25 April 1996).

[19] See "Bubbling Over", The Economist, 6 January 1996 and International Commission of Jurists, "Communique on Burundi", Geneva, 10 January 1996.

[20] See Colette Braeckman, "Hantise du génocide au Burundi", Le Monde Diplomatique, March 1996; International Herald Tribune, Cyrus Vance and David Hamburg, "A Move to Stop Burundi's Spiral", 11 March 1996.

[21] FDD statement in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Démocratie, 2 March 1996; statement by UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting France 2 Television, 16 April 1996; statement by US Presidential Security Advisor Anthony Lake, while in Bujumbura, in Africa News Report, 20 May 1996; statement by President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 25 April 1996

[22] See Jan van Eck, Report on Burundi Project (London: International Alert, 5 February 1996); Oxford Analytica On-Line News, 15 February 1996 [electronic format]; "Burundi: More Violence but not Genocide", Strategic Comments, Vol. 2, No. 3 (12 April 1996).

[23] For a detailed discussion of the pre-genocide situation in Rwanda see Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis: History of a Genocide (1959-1994) (London: Hurst, 1995).

[24] In late March the UN Human Rights Commission described the situation in Burundi both as a "slow motion genocide" and as a "rampant civil war", two mutually contradictory terms. See Le Monde, Isabelle Vichniac, "Les Droits de l'Homme sont bafoués au Burundi", 27 March 1996.

[25] This figure does not include the 60,000 or so who were killed in six weeks during October-December 1993. That short period, immediately after President Ndadaye's murder, did witness the beginnings of an attempted dual genocide. But the process petered out because it was reciprocal and not unilateral as all genocides have been. For a detailed account of this period see Human Rights Watch / Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme, Rapport de la Commission Internationale d'Enquête sur les Violations des Droits de l'Homme au Burundi depuis le 23 octobre 1993 (Brussels, July 1994).

[26] See Agence France Presse [New York], 2 January 1996.

[27] Le Monde, 4 January 1996

[28] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 3 January 1996

[29] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 5 January 1996

[30] See Le Monde, Jean Hélène, "Au Rwanda et au Burundi les rébellions Hutues provoquent les représailles des armées Tutsies", 6 January 1996. Burundi's UN Ambassador in New York is Terence Nsanze, Secretary General of the Tutsi extremist minority party ABASA, a fact which is not without influence on the official attitude of Burundi in the General Assembly.

[31] Africa News Report, 22 January 1996; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 28 January 1996

[32] United Nations, Security Council, Resolution 1040, S/RES/1040, 29 January 1996

[33] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Rwanda, 5 February 1996. Petrie is a very solid and professional expert. But he is also somebody who was present in Rwanda during the whole of the 1994 genocide, an event which has strongly affected him.

[34] Le Monde, "L'ONU ne créera pas de force multinationale au Burundi", 28 February 1996

[35] South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Malian President General Toumani Touré and former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere

[36] See former President Touré's statement in BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 23 January 1996.

[37] Libération, Stephen Smith, "Second sommet sur les réfugiés Hutus", 16/17 March 1996; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Uganda, 19 March 1996

[38] BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Africa No. 1 [Libreville], 16 March 1996

[39] In Brussels Jérome Ndiho, the CNDD spokesman, declared that his organization which had previously supported an intervention had changed its mind (François Misser, "No Solution in Sight", The New African, April 1996). At a meeting in Bujumbura UPRONA Assistant Secretary General François Ngeze threatened to "fight intervention troops" (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio Burundi, 21 May 1996), while UPRONA's historical enemy PALIPEHUTU also rejected the idea, considering that it was "directed against the majority of the population" (Le Monde, 3 July 1996).

[40] See Xinhua Agency [Kampala], 7 June 1996.

[41] Le Monde, 21 June 1996

[42] For the various steps of the failed Nyerere mediation see BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, quoting Radio France Internationale, 23 April and 23 May 1996 and Radio Tanzania, 10 June 1996; Le Monde, 11 June 1996.

[43] Agence France Presse [Arusha], 25 June 1996

[44] See "Intervenir au Burundi?", Billet d'Afrique, June 1996.

[45] Le Monde, "Le gouvernement burundais demande 'assistance' à ses voisins", 27 June 1996

[46] Le Monde, "L'opposition tutsi joue les va-t-en-guerre au Burundi", 28 June 1996

[47] Reuters [Bujumbura], 30 June 1996

[48] Philip Gourevitch, "The Poisoned Country", New York Review of Books, 6 June 1996, a review-essay dealing with Réné Lemarchand, Burundi: Ethnic Conflict and Genocide (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) and Liisa H. Malkki, Purity and Exile: Violence, Memory and National Cosmology Among hutu Refugees in Tanzania (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995)

[49] See Malkki, pp. 60-78 for a mythical view of hostility reaching back into phantasmic conceptions of Burundese history.

[50] Libération, Florence Aubenas, "Avoir vingt ans à Bujumbura", 16/17 March 1996

[51] Colette Braeckman in "Burundi: Hantise du génocide", Le Monde Diplomatique, March 1996, quotes a survey done by a Burundese psychologist among shcool-age children: Tutsi children's wish for the future is to become soldiers; Hutu children's to join the guerrilla. Both quote as a reason the desire to "defend their families".


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