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An Ambassador's Reflections on a Bloodbath

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 September 2018

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There was so much suffering and so many people were killed in Burundi that all of us must ask the question who, if anyone, was to blame? What were the causes? Perhaps somehow we can find a way to prevent recurrences in Burundi and elsewhere. One can identify some men who obviously played a role in ordering executions and/or eliminating people for reasons of personal vengeance. The real villains, however, were not a few individuals but the type of alienation existing in the Burundi nation. This alienation—caused primarily by hate and fear—has triggered from time to time massive violence by neighbor against neighbor in both Rwanda and Burundi. Like a disease, it can recede and then break out again, resulting in further bloodbaths in Burundi.

Research Article
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 1974

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