Rwanda: Aftermath


May 25, 2007: More than 8000 refugees who fled Burundi in 1972 will be permanently resettled in the US. The refugees have been in Tanzania. The first group of approximately 90 Burundians left for the US in early May. The rest will be flying to the US throughout the remainder of 2007. Phoenix and Atlanta are two of the primary destinations. Burundian refugees interviewed by the UN said that they did not believe it was possible to "integrate locally" in Tanzania. Tribal differences are simply too strong. Returning to Burundi was not an option, either. Many believed their lands and homes had been stolen, and the theft recognized by local authorities.

May 22, 2007: A South African soldier, serving with the residual peacekeeping force in Burundi, was wounded in a shooting incident on April 9. The soldier was evacuated to a South African military hospital, where he died today. The incident is still under investigation. South Africa agreed to keep a small contingent in Burundi because the Burundian government trusts the South Africans to make fair decisions and not favor either Tutsis or Hutus. It also helps that the South Africans are the most professional military in Africa.

May 12, 2007: Last year Rwanda said that it would send more troops to Darfur to serve with the African Union peacekeeping force. Now Rwanda says that may have to withdraw its troops because they lack barrack facilities. The US and the UN promised to help build facilities in Darfur, but it was not clear who would pay the costs. Rwanda has three battalions in Darfur (approximately 2000 soldiers) serving with the African Union force.


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