February 13, 2008:
government and the FNL rebel faction, National Liberation ForcesParty for the
Liberation of Hutu People (FLN-PALIPEHUTU) will begun face to face talks in
late February. It is not clear that this
is a break through, but it is a sign of
some progress. In July 2007 the FNL-PALIPEHUTU rejected the international
mediation team as "biased" in favor of the Burundian government. The UN has estimated that the FNL-PALIPEHUTU
still has around 2000 fighters. The FNL
faction will be asked to join the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism
(JVMM), which oversees the peace process.
February 12, 2008: The International Criminal Tribunal for
Rwanda (ICTR) will end its formal operations sometime in 2008. The UN
established the ICTR in November 1994
(UNSCR 955) to prosecute the key instigators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The
first ICTR initiated trial took place in 1997. At the end of 2007 the ICTR had
completed 35 cases. The ICTR has 27 on-going cases. 16 people on the ICTR's
wanted list (ie, people accused of major genocide-related crimes) have yet to
February 11, 2008: The mandate of South
Africa's chief mediator for Burundi, Charles Ngakula, was extended until the
end of 2008.
February 10, 2008: Criminals or
assassins? The presumption is assassins.
Frederique Banvuginyunvira, the head of Burundi's second-largest
political party, Front for Democracy in Burundi (Frodebu), was wounded in a grenade
attack on his home. His wife and child were killed in the attack.
Banvuginyunvira serves as part of the ruling national unity government, headed by the Forces for the Defense of
Democracy Party (CNDD-FDD). The attack comes as negotiators are trying to reach
a new agreement with rebel Hutu factions.
February 8, 2008: In 2007 the US
government gave Rwanda seven million dollars worth of military aid. Much of the
money was used to support training programs for the Rwandan Army as well as
provide equipment for Rwandan peacekeepers serving in Darfur.
January 30, 3008: The Rwandan
government said that it believed military intervention by international forces
might be the only way to avoid further ethnic fighting in Kenya. The Rwandan
statement emphasized the "quick reaction" was the best way to deal with a
crisis. The Rwandan statement was based on Rwanda's experience in 1994 (Rwandan
genocide of Tutsis at the hands of radical Hutus).