Burundi’s crisis: Complacency, inaction or racism – or all of it?

There is no end, it seems, to diplomats and government representatives who “express concern”, appeal, urge the parties to show restraint, warn, condemn etc. All words, no deeds. European leaders reaction is basically silence – while 16 Europeans killed in the office of Charlie Hebdo made them walk arms in arm in Paris. When I think of Burundi today, all these words by Martin Luther King, Jr on complacency and inaction fit the international so-called community. There never was a truly human concern behind all the interventions in oil-rich, or otherwise strategically important, countries. If the Responsibility to Protect meant anything but self-interested, geopolitical interventionism, governments and diplomats would stop talking and wringing their hands now and get their planning tools in place – with the aim to save every Burundian, the region and the world from yet another – preventable – catastrophe. If Burundi’s crisis had happened in or closer to Europe, would European leaders not have reacted? If your answer is “I think so” then we are talking about structural racism – whether intended or not, whether conscious or not. It means a system of thought, or a paradigm, embedded in our culture that builds on the tacit, collective assumption that black people are unworthy of the concern, compassion and solidarity that we automatically apply – indeed find natural to apply – to white people in crisis.

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Burundi – Denying or hoping just won’t do

I’ve worked in Burundi with various organisations and issues between 1999 and 2012. I am deeply concerned and thought it is important to keep on creating awareness of what is happening and what it could mean for the future. This is TFF PressInfo # 320 – and you may subcribe get these important and topical analyses – much different from the mainstream media – winging into your e-mailbox before they are made public by sending you e-address to PressInfo@transnational.org

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The UN closes its mission in Burundi

This is one more alarming news out of Burundi. TFF and I have been involved there between 1998 and 2012. It was a splendid UN mission for which the Burundian government should have been grateful. But it was always negative to the UN and thought it could solve all problems itself. And only causing more. Burundi is in a very serious situation now. I have no sympathy for Mr. Agathon Rwasa’s political and military work over the last decade but I can subscribe to every word he states here. The world has paid attention only to Rwanda. It may soon wake up to the usual “surprise”: A new bout of violence in Burundi. God forbid, I say – and hope I am wrong.

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Dagbog fra Burundi # 4 – Amahoro-Ungdomsklubben og dens visioner med de unges egne ord

Bujumbura, Burundi, 3. juli, 2008 Her følger en tekst som medlemmer af Amahoros Ungdomsklub har formuleret sammen med TFF’s Ina Curic og Jan Øberg. (Amahoro = fred, på kirondi, det lokale sprog). Vi søgte om penge hos det svenske Folke Bernadotte Akademi, men fik et nej. Så lige nu, mens vi skriver dette, ved ingen af os rigtig hvordan vi skal komme videre – undtagen at vi bliver nødt til at finde ud af nye strategier for at få økonomisk støtte og udvikle dynamik i vores forehavende. Men, som I kan se, så er vores vision på plads, og en dag vil det lykkes for os – med støtte af TFF og med AYC som trækker det store læs – at få fred i Burundi gennem denne nationale bevægelse for dialog, uddannelse og social forandring.

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