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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Burundi: The Killing Fields Revisited
Author:Lemarchand, RenéISNI
Geographic terms:Burundi
United States
foreign policy
economic sanctions
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1166874
Abstract:Nowhere else in Africa have human rights been violated on a more massive scale, and with more brutal consistency, than in Burundi. In August 1988, some 20,000 Hutu were massacred in a major outburst of ethnic violence. The author sketches the broad outlines of the system of Tutsi minority rule that has been the dominant feature of Burundi politics since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1966. Against this background he turns to a discussion of some of the more plausible scenarios that have precipitated the 1988 killings. He considers the key question facing international aid agencies and policymakers: why have development efforts in Burundi failed to alter significantly existing power relationships? The merits of some strategies available to policymakers in the USA to bring about a more equitable distribution of power within Burundi society are also examined. These include: a coffee embargo; agreements with France and Belgium (the two major Western donor countries with interests in Burundi) on a sanctions package; sensitizing public opinion through human rights nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In conclusion, the author examines the non-binding resolution unanimously passed by the US House of Representatives, on October 6, 1988 and by the Senate on October 7. This resolution is the most significant departure from the generalized public indifference about Burundi. Ref. (Comment by J.-P. Chrétien in Issue, vol. 19, no. 1 (1990/91), p. 38-40, with a reaction by Lemarchand on p. 41.)