Sunday, March 2, 2008

Burundi - DRC Refugees - Gatumba Refugee Camp Survivors

A Gatumba massacre victim shows her scars. On August 13, 2004 a force of armed combatants, many of them members of the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), massacred at least 152 Congolese civilians and wounded another 106 at Gatumba refugee camp. The FNL is a predominantly Hutu rebel movement known for its hostility to Tutsi and the victims were largely Banyamulenge, an ethnic group often categorized with Tutsi. But the massacre was more than just another case of ethnically-targeted slaughter in a region known for such horrors. At the intersection of two faltering peace processes, the attack underlined the continuing political conflicts within both the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi and made them worse. The Gatumba camp provided shelter for 1,700 refugees who had fled DR Congo in June 2004.

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