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2006年VOA标准英语-Burundi Struggles to Move Forward From War

时间:2007-03-26 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:cyc_005   字体: [ ]

By Cathy Majtenyi
10 May 2006

Efforts are under way in Burundi to recover from more than a decade of civil war. The government and the United Nations recently agreed on the terms of two post-conflict commissions to address wartime crimes. But the formation of these commissions is proving to be controversial, and the government and country's last remaining rebel group have yet to achieve peace.



Encircling Bujumbura are rolling green hills on one side and the cool waters of Lake Tanganyika framed by the misty1 mountains of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the other.

It is hard to imagine placid2, picturesque3 Bujumbura and rural Burundi being rocked by the brutal4 civil war that erupted in 1993, killing5 300,000 people.

A peace process beginning in 2000 culminated6 in democratically-held elections last year. According to the terms of the peace process, the new government must now work towards post-war reconstruction7.

At the end of March, United Nations and government officials agreed on the terms of two new bodies to help the country move forward: the truth and reconciliation8 commission; and a justice commission that would prosecute9 crimes against humanity committed in Burundi since independence in 1962.

Salvator Ntacobamaze, Burundi's chief of state protocol10 and former interior minister, describes to VOA the purpose of the truth and reconciliation commission.

"Burundi has undergone a series of violences since independence. We do not know who did what, how, and why. We have started making a kind of mixture of stories condemning11 each other without really knowing who did what and why for what objective," he said. "We have to re-write the history of Burundi so that even our future generations get the real information and know really what happened to Burundi so as to be in a position to build their country by avoiding what happened to their ancestors. Then, from that, people might be in a position to request forgiveness."

He says the government team that met with the U.N. officials plans to collect views from Burundians as to how the activities of the two commissions should be carried out.

Many atrocities12 such as murder, rape13, destruction of property, and other crimes occurred before and during Burundi's civil war, which was the culmination14 of long-simmering tensions between ethnic15 Hutus and Tutsis.

Tutsis make up around 15 percent of Burundi's population, yet until recently they dominated the army and the political sphere.

War broke out in 1993 after the Tutsi-dominated army assassinated16 the country's first democratically-elected president, who was a Hutu.

Annociate Ndikumasabo, the executive director of Observatoire de l'Action Gouvernementale, an advocacy group that analyses government policies, applauds the idea of having mechanisms17 to expose and resolve pre and war-time crimes, but says the commissions are made up mostly of politicians and others from the government, an imbalance she says appears to be compromising the commissions' objectivity.

"We do not think it would be possible to have an independent commission so far as it would be set up by the government, which is a government that is mainly made by people who were in the rebel movement," said Ndikumasabo. "They should consult the grassroots, because the orientation18 today is much more offender19 oriented. We see that there is very low regard to the victim and we say they should find a balance between the offender orientation and victim orientation, and they should also make a balance between the political needs and the justice needs."

But perhaps an even greater stumbling block to peace efforts is continued attacks by the National Liberation Forces, known as FNL.

The group is the only major rebel movement that was not integrated into a power-sharing government and army during Burundi's transitional period from the signing of the Arusha Accord of 2000 until last year's democratic elections.

A major opposition20 party leader, Leonard Nyangoma, of the CNDD, accuses the government of dragging its feet in peacemaking efforts with the FNL.

"The government is responsible really to bring FNL to the table of negotiations21," said Nyangoma. "I think the government has a strong responsibility to start the negotiations. The government does not want really to start negotiations. I think they do not want to share power with a new party like FNL."

He says a peace agreement with the FNL should have taken place last year before democratic elections were held, so that the country could start a new era of peace.

Chief of state protocol Ntacobamaze, who is also head of the commission in charge of negotiations with the FNL, tells VOA the government is leading the way in talks with the rebel group.

"Since they [FNL] are massacring the population, therefore the government has to take care of it and see how to minimize the impact and bring them, if they will, within the process," said Ntacobamaze.

VOA could not reach the FNL for comment, but media reports quote FNL officials as saying they are ready to negotiate directly with President Pierre Nkurunziza. Talks were supposed to occur last month, but were canceled.


1 misty l6mzx     
  • He crossed over to the window to see if it was still misty.他走到窗户那儿,看看是不是还有雾霭。
  • The misty scene had a dreamy quality about it.雾景给人以梦幻般的感觉。
2 placid 7A1yV     
  • He had been leading a placid life for the past eight years.八年来他一直过着平静的生活。
  • You should be in a placid mood and have a heart-to- heart talk with her.你应该心平气和的好好和她谈谈心。
3 picturesque qlSzeJ     
  • You can see the picturesque shores beside the river.在河边你可以看到景色如画的两岸。
  • That was a picturesque phrase.那是一个形象化的说法。
4 brutal bSFyb     
  • She has to face the brutal reality.她不得不去面对冷酷的现实。
  • They're brutal people behind their civilised veneer.他们表面上温文有礼,骨子里却是野蛮残忍。
5 killing kpBziQ     
  • Investors are set to make a killing from the sell-off.投资者准备清仓以便大赚一笔。
  • Last week my brother made a killing on Wall Street.上个周我兄弟在华尔街赚了一大笔。
6 culminated 2d1e3f978078666a2282742e3d1ca461     
v.达到极点( culminate的过去式和过去分词 )
  • a gun battle which culminated in the death of two police officers 一场造成两名警察死亡的枪战
  • The gala culminated in a firework display. 晚会以大放烟火告终。 来自《简明英汉词典》
7 reconstruction 3U6xb     
  • The country faces a huge task of national reconstruction following the war.战后,该国面临着重建家园的艰巨任务。
  • In the period of reconstruction,technique decides everything.在重建时期,技术决定一切。
8 reconciliation DUhxh     
  • He was taken up with the reconciliation of husband and wife.他忙于做夫妻间的调解工作。
  • Their handshake appeared to be a gesture of reconciliation.他们的握手似乎是和解的表示。
9 prosecute d0Mzn     
  • I am trying my best to prosecute my duties.我正在尽力履行我的职责。
  • Is there enough evidence to prosecute?有没有起诉的足够证据?
10 protocol nRQxG     
  • We must observe the correct protocol.我们必须遵守应有的礼仪。
  • The statesmen signed a protocol.那些政治家签了议定书。
11 condemning 3c571b073a8d53beeff1e31a57d104c0     
v.(通常因道义上的原因而)谴责( condemn的现在分词 );宣判;宣布…不能使用;迫使…陷于不幸的境地
  • The government issued a statement condemning the killings. 政府发表声明谴责这些凶杀事件。
  • I concur with the speaker in condemning what has been done. 我同意发言者对所做的事加以谴责。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
12 atrocities 11fd5f421aeca29a1915a498e3202218     
n.邪恶,暴行( atrocity的名词复数 );滔天大罪
  • They were guilty of the most barbarous and inhuman atrocities. 他们犯有最野蛮、最灭绝人性的残暴罪行。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The enemy's atrocities made one boil with anger. 敌人的暴行令人发指。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 rape PAQzh     
  • The rape of the countryside had a profound ravage on them.对乡村的掠夺给他们造成严重创伤。
  • He was brought to court and charged with rape.他被带到法庭并被指控犯有强奸罪。
14 culmination 9ycxq     
  • The space race reached its culmination in the first moon walk.太空竞争以第一次在月球行走而达到顶峰。
  • It may truly be regarded as the culmination of classical Greek geometry.这确实可以看成是古典希腊几何的登峰造级之作。
15 ethnic jiAz3     
  • This music would sound more ethnic if you played it in steel drums.如果你用钢鼓演奏,这首乐曲将更具民族特色。
  • The plan is likely only to aggravate ethnic frictions.这一方案很有可能只会加剧种族冲突。
16 assassinated 0c3415de7f33014bd40a19b41ce568df     
v.暗杀( assassinate的过去式和过去分词 );中伤;诋毁;破坏
  • The prime minister was assassinated by extremists. 首相遭极端分子暗杀。
  • Then, just two days later, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. 跟着在两天以后,肯尼迪总统在达拉斯被人暗杀。 来自辞典例句
17 mechanisms d0db71d70348ef1c49f05f59097917b8     
n.机械( mechanism的名词复数 );机械装置;[生物学] 机制;机械作用
  • The research will provide direct insight into molecular mechanisms. 这项研究将使人能够直接地了解分子的机理。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • He explained how the two mechanisms worked. 他解释这两台机械装置是如何工作的。 来自《简明英汉词典》
18 orientation IJ4xo     
  • Children need some orientation when they go to school.小孩子上学时需要适应。
  • The traveller found his orientation with the aid of a good map.旅行者借助一幅好地图得知自己的方向。
19 offender ZmYzse     
  • They all sued out a pardon for an offender.他们请求法院赦免一名罪犯。
  • The authorities often know that sex offenders will attack again when they are released.当局一般都知道性犯罪者在获释后往往会再次犯案。
20 opposition eIUxU     
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
21 negotiations af4b5f3e98e178dd3c4bac64b625ecd0     
协商( negotiation的名词复数 ); 谈判; 完成(难事); 通过
  • negotiations for a durable peace 为持久和平而进行的谈判
  • Negotiations have failed to establish any middle ground. 谈判未能达成任何妥协。
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