- 8 June 2021
COMMUNIQUE APPROVING THE WORK OF THE FIVE TESTIMONY AND REFLECTION CONFERENCES ORGANIZED BY THE SENATE OF BURUNDI ON THE THEME: “49 YEARS LATER, REMEMBER AND WELL QUALIFY THE EVENTS OF 1972 IN BURUNDI”
1. As part of the truth-seeking process in order to cultivate, cement and consolidate the national reconciliation, the Senate of the Republic of Burundi organized, from April 28 to June 25, 2021, five conferences of testimony, reflection and analysis on the theme: “49 years later, remember and properly qualify the events of 1972 in Burundi”.
2. Generally, the conferences had the ambition to support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in its search for truth about the tragedies experienced by the Barundi for nearly half a century as well as the most objective explanation possible to give to them.
3. Specifically, the objectives that the Senate set were the following:
a. First: To remember in order to pay a vibrant tribute to thousands of Barundi fellow citizens killed and massacred in 1972;
b. Second: Open a podium to give an opportunity to all those who have something to say, whether for or against, especially the victims who have not yet had opportunity to break the silence, so as to help the Senate collect enough testimonies and reflections allowing to reach the truth about the nature of the crimes committed in 1972;
c, Third: Contribute to the qualification of the crimes committed in 1972;
d. Fourth: Allow the government of Burundi to set up a program of moral reparation for the victims;
e. Fifth: Initiate actions in order to assess the reconciliation level reached in Burundi in order to put into force the article 289 of the constitution of the Republic of Burundi which provides that “a period of five years is granted to the Senate to evaluate in order to put an end to or extend the ethnic quota system in the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary after the establishment of the institutions resulting” from the 2020 elections”.
4. Titles of the held conferences were the following:
a) 50 years later, how to read and qualify the “events” experienced by Burundi from April 29 to July 31, 1972? (Conference held on April 28, 2021);
b) The advent of the genocidal power of Michel MICOMBERO: Charles NDIZEYE, a Prince used to scupper a monarchy of which he is the heir (Conference held on May 14, 2021);
c) Mysteries and manipulations around the armed elements that attacked in the south-west of the country from April 29 to May 5, 1972: A strategy of Michel MICOMBERO’s power to serve his genocide project against the Bahutu (Conference held on May 28, 2021);
d) A genocide concealed by the Burundi State and the International Community: the genocide of the Bahutu of Burundi in 1972-1973 (Conference held on June 11, 2021);
e) A concern for the genocidal power: to survive your crime (Conference held on June 25, 2021).
5. These conferences were organized as an extension of the information and reflections shared by Senators during the 2015-2020 Legislature on the Royal Decree of August 21, 1925 signed by the Belgians’ King Albert I to regulate the administrative reform experienced by Burundi during the Belgian colonization.
6. Led by His Excellency Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA, former president of the Republic of Burundi, these conferences were attended by representatives of important structures and organizations in the country:
• The Presidency of the Republic,
• The Parliament,
• The Institution of the Ombudsman of the Republic,
• Representatives of defense and security forces,
• Representatives of the judiciary,
• Former Dignitaries,
• Members and representatives of national councils, namely the National Council for the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, war crimes and crimes against Humanity, National Council for National Unity and Reconciliation, National Communication Council, National Security Council, National Youth Council,
•The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
• The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI),
• Religious denominations,
• Diplomatic missions accredited to Burundi,
• Researchers, intellectuals and scientists,
• Civil Society Organizations,
• The media,
• The widows and orphans of the “1972events”
• The Barundi members of the diaspora
7. Oral or writtentestimonies on the “1972 events” were brought by participants from several horizons. They recommended namely to:
– qualify of “genocide” the massacres perpetrated against the Hutus of Burundi in 1972 in view of the planning, identification and the use state resources to slaughter those victims;
– to manage that genocide in accordance with national and international law;
– make moral reparation.
8. At the end of the five conferences on the theme: “Remember and properly qualify the events of 1972 in Burundi”, the speaker and the participants from the interior of the country and from the Diaspora made recommendations towards the Government, the Parliament, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Catholic Church and other Religious denominations, Civil Society Organizations, leaders of political parties, victims of the 1972 events, Belgium Kingdom and the United Nations.
9. For all purposes, the Senate of the Republic of Burundi will consider the recommendations made and will address them to the institutions referred to above.
Done at Gitega, June 25, 2021