Kangura No. 40

Editorial: Burundi—Buyoya Will Quit Power in June 1993

The Hutus of Burundi who have been under the Tutsi yoke for more than 400 years are reportedly being liberated. After noticing the serious situation, Major Pierre Buyoya (Buhinja), President of Burundi who has oppressed the majority Hutu people for five years, has found a way out. On Friday, 5 February 1993, he stated that presidential and legislative elections would hold in June of this year. These elections would enable the majority Hutu people in Burundi to accede to power at all costs by democratic means. However, it will not be that simple!

It will be necessary to be careful. When the Tutsi Buyoya stated this, it was very clear that he had previously consulted with his Tutsi kinsmen. They have planned either to thwart the elections or have another Tutsi succeed Buyoya. Thus, the Hutus of Burundi who make up 85% of all Burundians would be held in slavery. Nobody should be surprised. Buyoya accepted multi-party politics with difficulty. Initially, he claimed that this politics would disunite the Burundians. He thus wanted to annihilate the ideology of the majority Hutu people who have been oppressed for long by his kinsmen of the Tutsi ethnic group. Burundi’s donors have a strong dislike for this bloodthirsty individual and have forced him to establish multi-party politics in Burundi. With no other alternative, Buyoya found a way out and ordered that parties defending the interests of the Hutu people should not be recognized on the same plane as the others. He entrusted this mission to a Hutu accomplice, called Francois Ngeze, in charge of the “Ministry of the Interior” (Mininter); the latter began by calling the Palipehutu a small group of killers! Like his elder brothers Micombero, Bagaza and the kings, he took the advantage to massacre countless Hutus.

The history of Burundi shows us that the Hutus of Burundi had not been quite vigilant in 1959 when their Rwanda kinsmen toppled the monarchy. At the same time, the Tutsis who were in power in Burundi used the Uprona party to derail the ideas of the Hums of Burundi, for this party had claimed to fight the union of the Barundi. However, it turned out subsequently that Uprona was a Tutsi party. Instead of forming a party to defend their interests, the Hutus unnecessarily wasted their time in the Uprona party. This distraction had very serious consequences on them. You know the number of Hutus killed under the “regimes” of Micombero, Bagaza, Buyoya… And they continue to hear the same singsong that the Barundi are “united” within the same Uprona party. Faced with this serious situation and the increasing massacre of their Hutu kinsmen, certain Hutu pioneers decided to form a party of the Hutus of Burundi (Palipehutu). Tutsis who were vigilant immediately assassinated those pioneers including Rémy Gahutu.

The Hutus need to be vigilant and wake up, for the blood already shed is enough. Another error will cost them dearly. They must not listen to lies told by Buyoya and his Tutsi kinsmen who spend their time declaring that there are no Hutus, Tutsis or Twas in Burundi, that there is no ethnicity in Burundi where the Murundi is purely and simply Murundi. But then overnight you learn that these ethnic groups are fighting each other! Where are these ethnic groups then from if we were to believe those who assert that they are not established in Burundi? The Hutus of Burundi must not listen to this ideology, which Buyoya wants to use to convince them that it forms the basis of the “Charter of National Unity,” that is, the “union” of the Barundi. Obviously, this is a trick used by the Tutsis to surprise the Hutus once again. The Hutus of Burundi must rise up at the same time to defend their interests. Why is their Palipehutu party not officially recognized? It is alleged that this party segregates! How can it be considered that the Barundi are the same and share the same views? I am, referring to the words of a black American musician who said “Get up… Stand up… Fight for your rights.” A word to the wise is enough!