Burundi's victims want justice - An open letter to the Sacramento Bee
As someone who has been personally affected by the conflict in Burundi, I found it ironic that Robert Krueger’s argument for "Truth and Reconciliation" was premised on a such a grotesque distortion of the facts.
Mr. Krueger’s claim that “Burundi has already seen too much retributive justice without the UN adding more” is bizarre and misleading. If by “retributive justice” Mr. Krueger means the prosecution, under fair and impartial international standards, of those suspected of crimes against humanity, then it simply isn’t true that Burundi has seen “too much” of it. As readers can see for themselves by reading the excellent reports of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the defining feature of Burundi’s conflict has been the wholesale denial of justice to all but a handful of victims. Both groups argue compellingly that Burundi urgently needs more justice, not less of it, if peace is to be sustainable.
“Retributive justice” is a derogatory term, which demonises as vengeful advocates of “retribution” those who simply seek to uphold their right, guaranteed under international law, to “an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals”. Burundi’s victims want justice, not vengeance. I would urge Robert Krueger to support them.
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Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa, Robert Krueger