Rwanda: Death For A Dollar


June 29, 2009: South Africa will withdraw its 1,100 peacekeepers from Burundi, as it appears that the peace deal currently in place, is working.

June 27, 2009: Hand grenades sell for roughly one US dollar on the black market. The hand grenades are "war leftovers" and they are being used by criminals in robberies. A government study reported that 616 people were killed in "acts of violence" in Burundi in 2008,  22 percent were killed with hand grenades.

June 19, 2009: Fifty-seven former members of the Rwandan Hutu-led Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) were repatriated to Rwanda in the last month.

June 15, 2009: The UN is trying to close refugee camps in Tanzania that have housed Burundian Hutu refugees. Some of the Burundians "DPs" (displaced persons) have lived in the camps since the 1970s, having fled Burundi following the Tutsi versus Hutu ethnic violence in 1972. In 2002, as part of the Burundian peace process, the UN began encouraging Burundian Hutus to move back. The program accelerated in 2008 as Hutu guerrilla holdouts joined the peace process. The program includes new housing in Burundi. When the refugees return (and become "returnees") they often find their former lands occupied by someone else or used by someone else. This has occurred in northern Uganda, where returnees have also found their old homes and land taken over by other families. This situation leads to conflict. The trick is to settle the conflict in court instead of with rifles and grenades. Money talks, and this is a case where international aid money does forward peace.



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