As the fifth anniversary approaches, seven hundred and twenty nine voices demand justice over the Titanic Express massacre
On December 28th 2000, twenty-one unarmed civilians, including Arthur Kabunda, Ibrahim Mugabo, Judith Nduwayo, Laetitia Mbyeyinzima, Charlotte Wilson and Richard Ndereyimana were massacred after their bus, bearing the absurd and ill-fated name "Titanic Express", was ambushed at Mageyo, close to the Burundian capital Bujumbura. The attackers opened fire on the bus and then forced the passengers out, robbed them, and separated them according to their ethnicity. A number of Hutus and Congolese were released unharmed, then the remaining passengers were made to lie face down on the ground and were shot. Most of the victims were Rwandan and Burundian Tutsis.
There were a number of survivors. Some report that the attackers specifically identified themselves, saying "We are the FNL, not your FDD" (FDD was the FNL's largest rival at the time). In 2002, a document emerged which appears to be a detailed report by the FNL, signed by Commandant Albert Sibomana, of the Titanic Express attack, listing what was looted from the bus, how many people were killed and how many bullets were expended in killing them. Dozens of smaller attacks were listed in the same report.
At the time of the Titanic Express attack, Agathon Rwasa was FNL "Chief of Operations" around Bujumbura. He now leads the entire organisation. His successor in the role of Bujumbura Chief of Operations, Aloys Nzabampema, was recently apprehended by he Burundian authorities.
729 people have so far signed our petition urging that the Burundian government take steps to bring the perpetrators of ALL such attacks, including the Titanic Express massacre, to justice - more than thirty people for each of the twenty-one who died on December 28th 2000.
Here are some of the comments that have so far been made:
Luc Robichaud: "Justice for Arthur Kabunda"
Niyonzima: "Justice is the only path to peace!"
Owen Beith: "Justice delayed is justice betrayed"
Martin Baragengana: "I dream of one day seeing the people who have killed, all the criminals, brought to justice. Is it possible to see this day? Yes or perhaps I am at least allowed to dream".
M. Hugano wa Maconco: "A crime is a crime no matter who commits it. Therefore, all criminals must be punished starting from the killers of our last King...ie..(condemn Micombero, post-mortem). Only and only when justice is equal for all, reconciliation could be possible."
Jean-Luc Miller: "I firmly condemn les FNL that they even kills theirs like they recently did. Rwasa Agathon deserves ta good justice. I idially supported them before, but now, no. I am just feeling the same way like Alexis Kanyarengwe as he joined the RPF; Mr. Agathon Rwasa is not fighting for a Hutu cause, but satisfying his own cruelity matters."
Monia Umuhoza: "In loving memory of my cousin and dear friend!!"
Alain D. Kamenyero: "'You can't just wish away generations of ethnic rivalry. Nor can you ignore the moral ambiguities which still fester in every village'. Time cannot heal all wounds, but JUSTICE can."
Simon Gahutu: "I wish to condemn all acts of genocide, terrorism and mass killings, starting by the assasination of our independence Hero PRINCE LOUIS RWAGASORE, the mass killings that followed in the years 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988 etc... Suspects of those horrible massacres are known. Those who assassinated H.E NDADAYE MELCHIOR, CYPRIEN NTARYAMIRA and thousands of innocent Burundians are also known. My request is that whoever, no matter what´s his nationality, race, tribe or social position, suspected of colaborating in a way or another in those evil actions, be pursued and punished according to the law. I call upon the International Comunity, especially the occidental powers to stop distributing fire arms in our countries. I request them to stop dividing our people. I want to remind them that they can really help stop that hell that they ocasionned in our respective countries. If they are capable of getting Saddam, telling us that they can´t get killers in our countries sounds funny! Unless they are with them...God bless"
Pamela Kaneza: "In loving memory of a dear friend : Arthur Kabunda"
Annick Kaneza: "In loving memory of my brother Arthur Kabunda"
Espérance Ndenga: "In loving memory of my brother Julien NDENGA"
D'amour Sharangabo: "My relative (Jules Ndengabaganizi) was among those who were killed in cold blood"
Desiré Katihabwa: "It is high time that Burundians rise up and say "NO" to any Political regime or ideology that would divise our Nation. We have had enough of lies and hypocrisy from different political Leaders, it is our duty to ensure that we stand for generation to come and build our country."
Click here to add your name to those urging justice over the Titanic Express massacre
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