I live in Malawi and work with Burundians, so I have been able to get some of their perspectives first-hand. They are terrified. Terrified to speak out, to draw attention to the situation in Burundi because it means putting themselves and their families at risk. Hell, given how they talk about it, I’m even a bit afraid even as far away as Malawi. People are being murdered for having opinions, for speaking out, and often, simply because of their ethnicity.
Make 3 phone calls. Call your representative and senators (http://www.house.gov/representatives/find,http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact). Ask them to support UN Ambassador Samantha Power and make preventing genocide in Burundi an urgent diplomatic priority. The country URGENTLY needs peacekeepers, observers, and mediated negotiations to prevent ethnic killings and broker peace. Not American? Do this at home, wherever home is for you.
TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS. Burundians who try to speak out about this situation are being jailed, tortured, and killed. The media is NOT reporting on this, and those that are are, for the most part, not reporting fully on these atrocities. If the media won’t report on it, we regular folks are Burundi’s best hope of receiving international attention.
Similarly - and I hate that I’m doing this, but it’s important - SHARE THIS POST. SPREAD THE WORD. PLEASE. NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT BURUNDI. SO TALK TO THEM ABOUT BURUNDI.
PLEASE, let’s prevent another Rwanda, Darfur, Myanmar, Cambodia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Germany - sign the petition, contact your representatives, learn and share about Burundi, and TALK TO PEOPLE about what’s happening in Burundi.
Deadly Mali hotel attack: ‘They were shooting at anything that moved’
(CNN)Gunmen who raided a Malian hotel shouted “Allahu akbar” as they sprayed bullets on tables of people who were gathered for breakfast, a witness said.
The attackers did not say a word to anyone as they opened fire Friday morning, employee Tamba Couye said.
They shot at “anything that moved” as terrified patrons dashed for cover all over the hotel, he said.
By the time Malian and U.N. security forces rushed in and ended the siege hours later, bodies were scattered across the floors of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako.
At least 19 people were killed in the attack, said Olivier Salgado, a spokesman for the U.N. mission in the nation.
Interesting to see how the media seemed to pay a little more attention than usual on this attack, but not because some Malians were either killed or injured. It was because one of the first Mali attack victim was an American and also some foreigners were either killed or held hostage.
Please pray for Mali and and not just for one life that was lost, but for all the lives that were lost in such a horrendous attack! This is our Africa. Please repost, reblog, post, and let your voices be heard.
Burundi, home of one of the finest light-filled educational facility for deaf children.
By Ruvarashe Beta on September 8, 2015 — “Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information, which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life.”- Kofi Annan
In the northern part of Burundi is where you will find Muyinga Library, one of the best educational facility for deaf children. The design was inspired by the vernacular architectural practices in Burundi. It was built in partnership between Belgian studio, BC Architects and the local community. The library was made using locally sourced compressed soil. The interior was designed to make it fun for the children. It has cozy sitting set-up and huge hammocks where kids can read their favorite books!
Borabora, Lake Tanganyika in Bujumbura, Burundi. Memories of a road trip taken to Bujumbura in happier times. Lake Tanganyika is a fantastic lake to swim in. Warm, clear, calm (especially early in the morning).
“I love Messi because he plays very well. When I am big, I will play like him.” Our colleagues from UNICEF Burundi came across Leo Messi fan 7-year-old Jean-Petit (second from right) playing football with his friends in the small village of Rushubi. Their ball was carefully handmade from plastic bags wrapped in rubber bands. Every child has the right to play!
Charges dropped against driver in crash that killed 20-year-old:
According to police, the driver of the Cadillac, which was traveling southbound on MD 202, lost control and crossed the center line directly into the path of the oncoming Nissan.The driver of the Nissan, identified as 20-year-old Adedire Olanrewaju Ososanya of Upper Marlboro, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Calero, the driver, also the son of a state senate, was initially charged with DUI and reckless driving, but prosecutors dropped the charges, pending a complete investigation.
Please sign the petition in order to get justice for Adedire here:
“Adedire Olarewaju Ososanya a rising star of his generation and a 3rd year student of Morgan State University was killed in a cold blood car crash on Thursday December 17, 2015 by a hardened and a repeated drunk driver in Largo Maryland. The offender has multiple traffic and criminal records. The alleged drunk driver is James Scott Calero, son of a state senate. James Calero is from Bowie Maryland. WE WANT JUSTICE FOR ADEDIRE PERIOD.”
Nobody is above the law. Ososanya was just 20-years-old. He was a promising young business student at Morgan State University. No mother should have to bury her child! Please sign the petition, it only takes a few seconds. This is our African brother.
“Bodies dumped on the streets on an almost nightly basis": Burundi’s crisis, explained
Burundi, a small country in Africa’s Great Lakes region, is in the midst of some seriously dangerous violence. Since April, more than 240 people have been killed; according to a letter written by concerned NGOs, “bodies [are] dumped on the streets on an almost nightly basis.”
And things could get much, much worse. Adama Dieng, the UN’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, said that the government’s rhetoric is “very similar to language used before and during the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda.”
Experts following the conflict, though, are quick to point out that Burundi’s situation is very different from Rwanda’s, and that while the risk of more violence is real, it does not currently appear to be ethnic in nature or yet prone to what would qualify as genocide. Still, what’s happening there is deadly serious.
Here’s a look at how things got so bad — and the desperate attempts by the international community to make sure they don’t get any worse.
The current crisis began in April 2015, when President Nkurunziza’s political party, the CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy), announced that he’d be running for a third term. This violated the Arusha Accords, the 2000 peace agreement that helped end Burundi’s civil war in 2005, and which limits the president to two terms.
The announcement inspired mass protests against Nkurunziza’s perceived power grab. It also led a number of more moderate CNDD-FDD leaders to leave the party and join the opposition — thus empowering the party’s more extremist, violent wings.
In May, several members of the military attempted to launch a coup while Nkurunziza was out of town. They failed — but it instilled a paranoia among Nkurunziza and his advisors that there was a traitor in their midst.
Burundi held its presidential election in July. Nkurunziza won, but the election was “not monitored by anyone credible,” Jones says, and “everyone boycotted it.” The election was surrounded by low-level violence.
Things got worse after the assassination of a key Nkurunziza ally in August, which further intensified the regime’s paranoia.
There’s “a very fearful inner circle” running Burundi, says Cara Jones, a professor of political science at Mary Baldwin College who studies Burundi. “I imagine now [it’s] about four or five people calling the shots.”
The result, she says, was “a more naked form of violence and repression against political opponents” than in years prior.
Since August, according to Human Rights Watch, there have been a spate of killings, many of them apparently political, that have claimed more than 100 lives. This has included some killings by security forces, as well as apparently retaliatory attacks.
“They are shooting police officers, they are throwing grenades, and they are physically attacking Imbonerakure [pro-government youth militant groups],” Jones says.
This violence has gradually escalated. Human Rights Watch here details two of the deadliest incidents to date, both in October:
Multiple witnesses said that men in police uniforms carried out both attacks, apparently in retaliation for attacks on policemen by armed men presumed sympathetic to the opposition. The first attack killed at least seven residents and the second killed nine. In the Cibitoke attack, residents recognized members of the ruling party youth league who collaborated with policemen during the attack. Two witnesses saw between 7 and 10 dead bodies in civilian clothes being loaded into a police truck the day after the attack.
In the second attack, in Ngagara, the victims included a cameraman who worked for the state broadcaster. Police shot him dead, then ordered his wife, nephew, and two teenage children to come out of the house, made them and a local guard lie down on the main street, and shot each of them in the head, according to multiple witnesses.
On November 2, Nkurunziza issued an ultimatum: Anyone who possessed illegal firearms was required to turn them in by November 7, after which security forces would conduct door-to-door searches.
But human rights groups worried that the searches, amid Burundi’s tension, could spark more violence — a fear bolstered by Nkurunziza’s incendiary rhetoric. He said police were “authorized to use all means at [their] disposal to find these weapons and re-establish security,” and that anyone found with illegal arms would be “punished in accordance with the anti-terrorist law and fought like enemies of the nation.”
Thankfully, those fears did not come to pass. But the past week has still hardly been peace and quiet.
“Bodies dumped on the streets on an almost nightly basis"
Since August, according to Human Rights Watch, there have been a spate
of killings, many of them apparently political, that have claimed more
than 100 lives. This has included some killings by security forces, as
well as apparently retaliatory attacks.
“This deteriorating into a civil war is a very real possibility,” Tom Periello, the US special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, told me, says.
According to Jones, there’s “a very real likelihood that there’s a new
rebellion brewing” already in the Burundian hinterlands or in nearby
Basically, a genocide situation is a possibility, and I’m very worried. Please spread this information.