Burundi: Belgium has a great historical responsibility for the killings and genocides in the region of the great lakes.

Burundi: Belgium has a great historical responsibility for the killings and genocides in the region of the great lakes.
Belgium has completely destroyed the administration found there in the occupied countries and instituted a « divide and rule » policy. This division has mainly focused on the ethnic cord. What they presented as ethnicities in Burundi (by measuring nose and rib length and people’s height) were actually social classes and they coexisted very well because they were complementary. Belgium succeeded in its policies, which pushed the Hutu numerical majority to always seek to get rid of this Tutsi numerical minority. This is the origin of the ideology and the execution of genocides.
Let’s take a little look back at the history of the German and Belgian occupation of Rwanda-Urundi. Here we quote the writings of Tharcisse SONGORE, in  » Mandat et Tutelle Belges sur le Burundi (1919-1961)  » What they called  » the white civilizer  » was the phenomenon of not bringing war to Africa which took place in Europe. But, August 15, 1914, the German troops based in Ruanda-Urundi cut the telegraph line which skirted Lake Tanganyika and bombarded the towns bordering Lake Tanganyika. On August 22, a German ship opened fire on the port of Lukuga. Faced with this aggression, the Belgian Minister of Colonies Renkin sent a telegram to the Governor General of Congo and to the Vice-Governor of Katanga ordering to “take military measures to defend Belgian territory … take the Belgians alone or in cooperation with the troop’s allies. On April 18, 1916, the Belgian offensive broke out at the behest of General Tombeur. The attacking forces consisted of two groups of two regiments: that of Colonel Molitor (north brigade), that of Colonel Olsen (south brigade). On the first day, the southern brigade occupied the island of Gombo (south of Lake Kivu). The next day, Shyangugu (Rwanda) fell. The northern brigade made a turning movement towards Uganda and marched on Kigali from the north which fell on May 6, 1916. German forces in Burundi under Captain Von Languenn put up vigorous resistance, but were unable to hold out against the numerical superiority. On May 19, 1916, Major Muller occupied Nyanza. On June 6, Usumbura fell under the Belgian forces commanded by Colonel Thomas. Kitega is taken on June 17th. Rwanda and Burundi were already occupied. There remained then the countryside of Tanganyika (now Tanzania); The Molitor brigade thus seized Biharamuro, then Mwanza. Colonel Moulaert occupied Karema. The march on Tabora then began with three columns. On July 29, Kigoma and Ujiji were occupied. After several days of fierce fighting, Tabora fell on September 19, 1916.
Afterwards, the British and Belgian forces united to occupy all of Tanganyika from which the German General Von lettow-Vorbeck put up extraordinary resistance. He surrendered after the armistice of November 1918.
In Europe, Germany was defeated in 1918. At the Peace Treaty of Versailles in France, Germany lost colonies to the winning countries. The League of Nations will give Belgium a mandate over Rwanda-Urundi. Great Britain will have a mandate over Tanganyika. This was the end of the German protectorate in Burundi and Rwanda.
After the departure of the Germans, the territories occupied by the Belgians experienced four political regimes. First, the military occupation regime (June 1916-February 1917): the administrative power of the conquered territory rested with the local Belgian commander of the Force Publique. He enacted some thirty ordinance-laws concerning only military discipline and public order such as alcoholic drink regimes, military requisitions, the use of military transport for commercial purposes, vagrancy, etc. Then, the regime of the Royal Commissariat (February 1, 1917 – March 1, 1926) which began with the installation of the Royal Commissioner in Kigoma on February 1, 1917. He divided the conquered territory into four constituencies: The Residence of Rwanda, the Residence of the ‘Urundi, Usui Territory and Ujiji District. The powers and attributions of the Royal Commissioner were determined in the unique article of December 5, 1916. He exercised vis-à-vis the troops and civil, military or judicial personnel of the occupation body all the rights delegated to the Governor General and to the Attorney General by the legislation of the colony. Then came the plebiscite of 1918. During the second quarter of 1918, the occupying power consulted the leaders so that they could speak for the Belgians or for the English. On August 21, 1998, the regents of the kingdom, Ntarugera, Nduwumwe and Karabona came out in favour of Belgian authority. This position is the result of the fact that the Burundians did not know the English. They also feared the incessant changes of the colonizers. The plebiscite was also a sham because the leaders were not used to being consulted by « white people » for such important decisions. The Belgians themselves recognized that the chefs were not mature enough and aware of expressing their wishes. Finally, it is the Orts-Milner Convention. In 1919, England admitted that Belgium could not come out of the war in which it had actively participated without obtaining reparations for the sacrifices made and the damage suffered. The rank which she occupied within the colonial nations and the work which she had already accomplished in the Congo authorized her to claim the administration of the conquered lands. On the other hand, Belgium was to facilitate the realization of the construction project of a railway which was to link the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa to Cairo. As a result, on May 30, 1919, Pierre Ortz representative of Belgium and Lord Milner, Secretary of State for the English colonies signed an agreement whose salient bridges are as follows: the residences of Ruanda and Urundi revert to Belgium. The territory of Usui and the district of Ujiji pass to England. These territories were officially handed over to the English on March 22, 1921; in March 1921, the Gisaka and the Bugufi were attached to the territory of Tanganyika to facilitate the construction of a railway connecting Cairo to Cape Town. In exchange, Belgium received the concessions from Kigoma and Dar-es-Salaam. It also obtained special facilities on the railway line connecting the two towns. Belgium obtained the freedom of transit of goods from or to the Belgian Congo through the western territory
This transfer of territories raised problems both internally and externally. In Rwanda, King YUHI V MUSINGA vigorously protested because at least 1/4 of the country was taken. The Gisaka will be retroceded later to Rwanda but the Bugufi will be definitively integrated into present-day Tanzania.
Here is the story reproduced as it was described so as not to distort it; but we will come back in detail to the case of the retrocession of the Bugufi territory which remained stuck to Tanzania when Burundi no longer had control of Kigoma and Dar-es-Salaam.
Belgium then received from the League of Nations (the current United Nations), a so-called « civilizing » mission for Rwanda-Urundi in order to lead them « to well-being and development ». The mandate entrusted to Belgium comes under the decision of July 20, 1922, taken up by a decision of August 31, 1923.
Instead of carrying out the mandate of the League of Nations, Belgium ignored this mission and set about disrupting the established order by destroying the very solid organization of the territories. They have set up their own administration or an administration that is easy for them to handle. It was from that point on that they implemented their « divide and conquer » policy. This is the origin of the killings and genocides in our States. We will come back to this in detail in our subsequent editions.
URN HITAMWONEZA ( Union for the Rebirth of the Nation ) is no way hesitating to say that Belgium has played a big role in the divisions and chicanes observed today in our States and that it continues, in one way or another to exercise a certain influence in all decisions taken by the European Union and the United Nations.

Votre commentaire

Entrez vos coordonnées ci-dessous ou cliquez sur une icône pour vous connecter:

Logo WordPress.com

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte WordPress.com. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Image Twitter

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Twitter. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Photo Facebook

Vous commentez à l’aide de votre compte Facebook. Déconnexion /  Changer )

Connexion à %s