Second anniversary of the Gatumba massacre
Violence and abuses continue in Darfur and the Great Lakes
Saturday August 12, 2006
Tomorrow will see the second anniversary of the Gatumba massacre, in which more than 160 Congolese Banyamulenge Tutsis were slaughtered, under the eyes of the United Nations, at a refugee camp in Burundi in 2004. Soon after the attack, the Hutu-extremist group Palipehutu-FNL claimed responsibility, saying that they had no fear of being held to account because they had become untouchable. A UN report concluded that Congolese "Mai Mai" fighters and Rwandan Interahamwe had also been involved in the attack. Evidence has subsequently emerged suggesting the involvement of the Congolese government. To date, no one has been arrested in connection with the Gatumba massacre, and Palipehutu-FNL has recently been awarded immunity from prosecution by the Burundian government.
The signatories to this letter have all lost loved ones at the hands of the so-called "coalition of negative forces" in the Great Lakes region - at Gatumba and in other attacks in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We welcome the interest shown in the region by the International Criminal Court. Today we urge the ICC to begin an investigation into the Gatumba massacre - and we urge the British government and the European Union to support such an action.
We seek justice not as retribution, but as an expression of the fundamental moral equality of all human beings, and as the surest method of bringing this cycle of violence to an end.
Alex M Ntung, Ernest Semukanya, Murura Alexis, Alfred Gasaba, Alexis Kiray, Richard Wilson and 10 others
Take action - Fax your MP!
Take action - sign the Gatumba petition
Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa