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April 29, 1972: The Killings in Burundi (The Hutu Genocide)


50 years ago (April 29, 1972), hundreds of thousands of people of the Hutu ethnic group of Burundi were killed by the Tutsi-dominated army. This event is undoubtedly a genocide against the Hutus and marks one of the worst days in recorded African history.

The Burundian government established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, known as the TRC in May 2014 to investigate the inter-ethnic massacres and get to the truth. Since 2019, the TRC has been exhuming mass graves throughout the country, using witness testimonies to locate them. Many families have been able to identify their loved ones and gotten closure.

A brief history of the killings

The Ikiza (translated from Kirundi as the Catastrophe), was a series of mass killings—which were committed in Burundi in 1972 primarily against educated and elite Hutus who lived in the country. Conservative estimates place the death toll of the event between 100,000 and 150,000 killed, while some estimates of the death toll go as high as 300,000.

An in-depth narrative of the events which led to the killings is documented in an article by Minority Rights Group International. Get the full article titled "Selective Genocide in Burundi" below;

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