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Burundi bar attack: more evidence of small arms proliferation

September 30, 2011

by Théophile Bigirimana
IPPNW National Student Representative, Burundi

On Sunday, September 18, at about 20:00, at least 36 people were killed after unidentified gunmen opened fire at a crowded bar near the Burundi capital, Bujumbura.

“I heard someone some distance away shout: ‘Kill them all,’ and they opened fire,” one survivor said.

There are some reports that the attackers crossed into Gatumba from just across the border in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Some 300,000 people are said to have been killed in Burundi’s 12-year civil war between the minority Tutsi-dominated army and ethnic Hutu rebels. The conflict officially ended in 2005 with a peace deal between the Burundi Government and the last rebel movement at that time but until now some unidentified groups of armed people are still killing people in some areas of Burundi.

Each one of us should take a short time to think about what the proliferation of small arms causes within our populations. The Great Lakes Region of Africa has been an area of armed conflicts since 1990 and from that moment until now, millions of people have died in Burundi, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The armed groups operating in these countries continue to kill people and do violence to women including sexual abuse.

We would appreciate if you join us to SAY NO to violence by bringing messages to all political leaders to take effective decisions to abolish the small armed conflicts in our region in general and in Burundi in particular.

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