New book tells the harrowing story of the Titanic Express massacre
"incredibly moving" - Ziauddin Sardar, Independent
On December 28th 2000, Charlotte Wilson, a 27-year-old VSO worker, was killed when her bus, the inauspiciously named Titanic Express, was ambushed in war-torn Burundi. The attackers were members of the Hutu-extremist FNL, a faction linked to those responsible for the Rwandan genocide. Twenty others died with Charlotte, including her Burundian fiance. One of the few survivors was given a chilling message for the Burundian government: "We're going to kill them all and there's nothing you can do".
In "Titanic Express", Charlotte's brother Richard charts his painful struggle to unravel what happened that day, and to understand the complex and brutal history that lay behind it.
Cutting through the obfuscations of the authorities, he uncovers a story of violence, fanaticism and neglect that exposes the self-interest and double standards at the heart of our supposed commitment to human rights and the fight against terror. As the facts begin to emerge, the family's deep personal grief is compounded by the realisation that this murder is just one among thousands, in a war fuelled as much by western cynicism and African greed as by ethnic divisions.
"Titanic Express" is a political detective story, a memoir of grief and a moving portrait of an extraordinary woman who died at the very moment she had found fulfilment. In gripping detail it shows the human reality of lives torn apart by the machinations of war and diplomatic expediency, where competing versions of the truth can be as deadly as bullets and machetes.
The Sunday Times - 'An unforgotten death in Africa'
The Daily Telegraph - 'Why is my sister's killer feted at peace talks?'
Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa