Hutu-Tutsi Conflict
Burundi Gets Uglier

The situation in Burundi has been getting uglier, the NYT reports—and the paper is openly talking about the ethnic dimension of the violence:

Like neighboring Rwanda, Burundi has been haunted by a history of bloodshed between its two largest ethnic groups, the Tutsis and the Hutus.

Recently, the violence has become more ethnic-based and potentially explosive, witnesses said.

Burundi’s government is led primarily by Hutus. Many of the recent victims, who even include cadets at the government military academy, have been Tutsis.

We’ve been watching for some time as the media tiptoed around the possibility that the violence in Burundi might have an ethnic basis. It’s the “Voldemort approach”: The fear that by speaking about the ethnic component, you’ll somehow only make it more of a reality. Yet while everyone has tried to downplay or avoid this dimension, things have continued to get worse, and the wall of denial has started to crack. Is the global community as a whole starting to wake up to the ugliness of what’s stirred in Burundi?

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