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HomeJusticeOver 10,000 Tutsi saved Hutus during the 1972’s civil war 

Over 10,000 Tutsi saved Hutus during the 1972’s civil war 

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, said that among those 11378 people who saved others by hiding them, some of them became víctims, others got hunted and displaced. PhotoFile

In the midst of the 1972’s war turmoil, fellow Burundians mixed profiles fought to save compatriot lives who fell at the mercy of murders. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Authority  ( CVR) reported that they have recorded 11,378 names of Tutsi who invested and risked their lives to save their compatriots amid 1972 ethnic war

On Wednesday, July 12, 2023, during a press conference, the chief of The Truth and Reconciliation Authority ( CVR) confirmed that so far the  commission has already assessed up to 11,378 names of people allegedly to be pillars of peace.

“They hid and saved others during a war  which targeted citizens from the Hutu ethnic  group  in 1972”, he said.

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, said that among those 11,378 people who saved others by hiding them, some of them became víctims, others got hunted and displaced.

“We found that those pillars of peace did a favor for their compatriots even though they suffered after and became victims of their bravery”, Ndayicariye said.

As Ndayicariye said, those people who saved others included local leaders, both Burundian and foreign priests, classmates of the targeted people and also ordinary citizens.

The typical example he provided is about a hill leader that categorically boycotted the order of the chief of the commune that citizens were to be arrested and slain.

The CVR Chief went on saying that the names of those heroes saved by others are testified by the rescued ones.

However, among those names testified by the saved hutus, were also ranked among the names that allegedly involved in mass killing.

As for the reasons behind pushing them to hide Hutus, in their research, Ndayicariye reported that some citizens saved their neighbors due to their relationship, mainly good neighborhood setting which had existed among them.

” Their relationship was founded on family, church sisterhood and baptism”.

However, others asked for bribes such as cows, traditional wine and any kind of ransom.

CVR says that some tutsi citizens saved hutus fearing that they would miss people to keep their farms. Others protected their compatriots for false identification.

Note that, he added, those saviors were mainly tutsis who rescued Hutu when they had been attacked by criminals, so-called Mayi-Mulele as well.

The Truth and Reconciliation Authority was established in Burundi to investigate crimes during ethnic conflicts which erupted after the country became independent in 1962.

The entity arose from the Arusha Agreement of 2000. Established by the ruling CNDD-FDD party in 2014, the commission was intended to run for an initial four years; however, its terms of reference were extended for a further four years in 2018.

Pierre Claver Ndayicariye is the chairperson. Clotilde Niragira was Secretary-General. She appointed an international advisory council in March 2016, that allowed the work of the commission to begin.

Niragira’s appointment to the authority ended in December 2018.

Massacres that took place in 1965, 1969, 1972, 1988 and 1993.The commission implemented a programme to identify and exhume mass graves, identify victims and perpetrators where possible and re-bury bodies with appropriate funerals.

The first mass grave was excavated in June 2017; a further 2,500 were estimated to exist in the country. Niragira promised to establish a system of compensation for the victims and their families.

A report presented to parliament in early 2020 showed that over 4,000 mass graves had been discovered, and 142,505 victims identified.

Public opinion was split upon its creation, and the Commission has since been criticized for not being impartial, but Ndayicariye says that criticisms are politically motivated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moïse Ndayiragije
Moïse Ndayiragije
Moise Ndayiragije, journalist, Visual presenter, Environmental Advocate. He has been covering social ground based stories. He stretches from climate change to Biodiversity loss and social linkages. He covers news about Burundi, Great Lakes, and Africa.
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