Monday, December 22, 2003

Burundi: criticism of peace deal

Human Rights Watch has criticized the Burundi peace deal because it provides immunity from prosecution for crimes committed by government and rebel forces during the 10 year civil war.
Parties to the first peace treaty in this war, the Arusha Accords of 2000, asked the United Nations Security Council to establish an international commission to investigate genocide and other crimes against humanity committed in Burundi, but, despite a subsequent request from the Burundian government, the UN has yet to dispatch even a preliminary assessment mission to examine the feasibility of such an investigatory commission. (link)
And then I saw this, a story about Sinburadayihi, a Burundian rebel child soldier. Chilling.
... "If people kill your family you are going to go and kill them.

"To stop their friends from killing you, you kill them in a horrible way so that everyone is scared of you," he said ...

... Sinburadayihi said he wanted to join the Burundi Army, "so that we can fight our other enemies and chop them up".

... "I would like to learn to read, but without a gun you cannot lead or have respect and I need respect," says Sinburadayihi ...
Sinburadayihi has been fighting since he was seven.