Burundi risks suspension from Great Lakes Peace and Security Committee

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Burundi has been warned by The Great Lakes Committee on Peace and Security that it risks suspension from the organisation over its refusal to implement some of the resolutions passed in 2016 during the 7th Plenary Assembly of the Forums of Parliaments of member countries.

Uganda’s KFM Radio Station reported on Thursday that according to the Lakes Committee President, Arinaitwe Rwakajara, member countries had agreed that President Pierre Nkurunziza had to embrace dialogue with the regional and international community, as well as end the rampant killings that were ravaging the country.

The Committee further recommended that the Burundian government continue to cooperate with the mediation team instituted by the East African Community.

However, despite the concerted efforts, Burundi had remained defiant, refusing to implement any of the recommendations, thereby raising the possibility of suspension from the Committee.

Meanwhile, a mass grave containing the remains of over 1,000 people was found earlier on Tuesday in Rusaka commune in central Burundi, Anadolu News Agency reported.

“The macabre discovery took place on Tuesday at a construction site where a training centre is being built,” said Jean Marie Nyakarerwa, governor of Mwaro province.

The precise number of dead and their identities has yet to be ascertained. However, Jean-Louis Nahimana, President of the National Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, told reporters his institution would visit the site to collect more information.

The grave dates back to 1972 when ethnic violence between Hutus and Tutsis, the main ethnic groups in the country, led to the death of more than 200,000 people – mainly members of the Hutu majority.

Even more serious violence broke out in October 1993, following the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, the first democratically-elected Hutu president. More than 300,000 people perished.

During the first 50 years of independence in Burundi, over 500,000 Hutus and 100,000 Tutsi were killed in mass atrocities, according to the Combat Genocide Association.

– By ANA