Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Marking the Forth anniversary of the Gatumba massacre,

Banyamulenge people (Congolese Tutsis) around the world have just marked the forth anniversary of the Gatumba massacre, in which more than 160 Congolese "Banyamulenge" Tutsis were killed by FNL Burundian Hutus extremists, at a refugee camp only few miles from Bujumbura Capital city of Burundi while under the protection of the UNHCR.
Those living in North America, the commemoration was held in Houston, Texas. The Keynote speaker was Mr. Kadege, the former Vice President of Burundi who was the VP in 2004 when Banyamulenge were ruthlessly massacred on Burundian soil.
In Europe, the Commemoration was held in United Kingdom (UK),whereas other commemoration meetings were held in various places in Rwanda and Burundi. The common denominator them was urging message to bring those responsible for the genocide to justice.
"On this forth anniversary of this unspeakable atrocity, are must keep saying what we said previously that we have the moral obligation to not only honour the memory of our people who were killed for being what God created them to be-Tutsis, but also to demand justice for the perpetrators of this crime against humanity", said Akim Muhoza, editor in Chief of the Minembwe Journal.

Just a note of reminder: It was the night of 13th August 2004 when a group of Hutus and Congolese extremists entered the camp of Gatumba and started slaughtering defenseless women, children, elderly and refugee men, living 163 dead. Shortly after this massacre, the extremists burundian Hutu- rebel from Palipehutu-FNL (FNL) claimed responsibility, saying that they had no fear of being held to account because they had become "untouchable". Massacring Tutsis in that region has become a hobby for all Hutus extremists including some Congolese tribalists. They all aspire for this evil deed and pride themselves for continuing to kill more Tutsis without being held accountable.

What is even sad is the fact that those responsible for the massacre are still free and some of them are even among government officials in Burundi and Congo three years after having openly claimed responsibility. This is another clear evidence of UN's unnwillingness to render justice to Tutsi victims of these continous ethnic cleansing.

For the last 3 days all Banyamulenge people around the world, including survivors have been attending memorial service some publicly others privately.

Let us remember that what happened on August 13 was a genocide, a continued genocide of Tutsis, another phase of Hutu extremists preying on lives of Tutsis enjoying the impunity by the international community. As though that was not enough, more killings of Banyamulenge are being carried out by DRCongolese army even as we commemorate the third anniversary of Gatumba genocide.
It is totally unacceptable to see that three years after the massacre nothing has been done, and that the same ethen cleansing is still being carried out while the world is once again silent about it.

Make no mistake, Agathon Rwasa and Pasteur Habimana both Hutu extremists leaders of FNL will one day be arrested for this crime that they themselves claimed responsibility.

We will continue demanding that justice be done, and one day nature will sooner or later bring that so much needed justice. Until then, we have to keep pressing for it.

Long live Banyamulenge

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