The Future of Burundi
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.
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The most—the message that I would like to send to anyone who would be watching this program is, first of all, to avoid being involved in such situations, being as a killer or as a subject to killers. The other message that I would like to send is to really look into what happened to Burundi during that 1993 genocide, and try to help that country reconcile based on that tragedy. This would be by, first of all, understanding exactly what happened in that country, and building a better country based on that experience—that bad experience, unfortunately.
Personally, I don’t think that it is too late for Burundi to come up from this situation. The toughest question to be resolved with that is, first of all, to understand what is undermining the Burundi population and the country as a whole, is to understand the nature of that conflict, which is more complex than most of foreigners think. Most of them would say it’s a Hutu/Tutsi antagonism, it’s a Hutu/Tutsi fight for power. While this conflict is political, social, community-based, and you can see that it is really complex. So, the future is Burundi is based on reconciliation. Reconciliation can still happen, but the first thing to do is to bring those perpetrators of killings, be it Hutus or Tutsis, to be brought before justice, judged, and determine what is to be done with them according to the laws of the country. Then, move forward with clean people and build a new country that is free of instigators of genocides and perpetrators of genocides.