Richard Wilson's blog

richardcameronwilson AT yahoo dot co dot UK

Remembering Gatumba, four years on

with 2 comments

The most heart-wrenching account of brutality that I’ve ever heard was the testimony given by Janvier Mudagiri at the August 2006 commemoration of the attack that had taken place at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi two years earlier. Janvier recounted how, after the initial onslaught, in which the attackers hunted down and killed every Banyamulenge Tutsi they could find, everything went quiet. A little while later, a group of men returned, calling out that they had come to rescue whoever was still alive. Janvier, who was hiding in the ruins of the camp with a group of children, realised quickly that these were not rescuers, but killers, bent on finishing off what they had started. But amid the chaotic situation, he was unable to stop a number of the children from running out towards their pretended rescuers – and could do nothing but watch as they were gunned down.  

This year’s commemoration event, which is being organised by Ubuntu, the international peacebuilding group founded by those who lost loved ones at Gatumba, will take place at the office of Amnesty International UK, on:

Saturday 16th August, from 1.30pm.

The full address is:

The Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA.

A number of the survivors will be joining the commemoration, and Ubuntu campaigners will be discussing both the ongoing struggle for justice, and the measures that need to be taken to stem the flood of lethal weapons into Central Africa.  

Written by Richard Wilson

June 24, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Posted in Titanic Express

2 Responses

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  1. mukomeze mushake ababishe thanks ndabyizeye neza ko tuzobabona


    September 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm

  2. Mr. Wilson,

    I am Eric Kira the son of Boniface Kiraranganya who obtained independance for Burundi along with Prince Rwagasore.
    I am sorry about your sister’s death, she was a good human being trying to help.
    My father’s biggest regret is to find that Burundi was not ready for independance.
    As you probably know the situation in Burundi is that ignorant bloodthirsthy killers are in power or ftrying to get it.

    The crimes commited by Nkurunzinza and Agathon Rwasa disqualify them from any office. The people who voted for them are illiterate peasants who voted along tribal lines, they would vote for Adolf Hitler’s clone if they tought he was Hutu.
    There can be no compromise with these men or it will encourage others to commit geneocide until the woerld gives them the presidency.

    The killing of Tutsi peasants including women and children is unacceptable. The Hima clan were in power and their abuses are being used to justify genocide.
    Burundi and other African Countries are out of control and need to be managed by International organisations with no greedy killers trying to become president.

    I am now a canadian citizen but I had enough of the hypocrisy and will get involved in the future.

    Best regards,

    Eric Kira

    Eric Kira

    September 8, 2009 at 12:03 am

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