Monday, February 28, 2005

Burundi holds first post-war vote

Burundi holds first post-war vote

Turnout is high as Burundians vote on a new constitution that aims to share power between Hutus and Tutsis.


Also Read:
Burundi prepares to move on
Well, well, well! Once again, Burundi is on the way to democracy - qualified democracy at least. I can't help but remember the sense of hope and freedom that reigned the last time this was attempted (I was just a 10 year old boy the). Some chap by the name of... Melchior Ndandaye attempted to bring democracy and fairness to that country. He was killed for it...

Of course, he did not have the luxury of a qualified democracy, aimed at giving the Tutsi minority some more security of participation in the process. He did appoint the First woman Prime Minister and Vice President in Africa (Sylvie Kinigi), though... and she was a Tutsi from the mainly Tutsi party, UPRONA. He simply dared to point out a factual injustice in the system: Almost all the military was Tutsi, in a country where 80%+ were Hutu. And he died for it...

I am sensing the same level of historical change today. And it is a good thing that the constitution the people are voting on tries to institute safe-guards, to avoid another genocide, like next door in Rwanda. I just hope some groups - on both sides of the ethnic divide - do not blow this chance away.


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