Note de la rédaction : Nous publions en général des textes en français. Exceptionnellement, nous publions ce témoignage d'humanité et de paix de Didier Kandeke. Son frère Willy Kandeke a été tué en octobre 1993 alors qu'il était en mission volontaire de la croix rouge. Son corps n'a jamais été récupéré par sa famille. Willy Kandeke était parmi ces rares Burundais qui se dévouaient sans penser à l'ethnie de la personne.

Nous remercions Didier Kandeke pour ce témoignage et cet apport d'humanisme sans haine qui va dans le sens de la réconciliation. Son esprit patriotique est connu depuis sa jeunesse. Il évolue actuellement aux Etats Unis.

Burundi news, le 06 octobre 2007

Remember Me!


The month of October I will be remembering the butchering of my brother Willy Kandeke, like thousands of other Burundian citizens that lost their loved ones.


Year after year since the Black October of 1993 there is no day that passes by without saying a prayer for all the victims. It has been recorded in modern African history as one of the greatest atrocities. It all happened in that little country called Burundi with many big problems.


My brother Willy was killed while volunteering for the Red Cross. Prior to his killing, Willy was always a brother and a helper to anybody around him and to those he came across. A few of his talents were playing guitar, reading, and modeling. To this day the government of Burundi, nor the Red Cross, have not been able to determine who are the killers and the why of his killing. The government and the Red Cross have not tried to find the remains of his body so his family and friends can move on by burying him. Will our grandchildren remember us as peacemakers? Will they talk about us as merchants of milk and honey or will they say that our legacy was blood and tears? Are we planting trees of joy or fruits of sorrow?


Willy Kandeke became one more Burundian citizen on the list of murdered victims of what has become the ethnic cleansing of the people of Burundi and whose bodies have not been found.


As the month of October comes again, I still hope that we Burundians, and the whole humanity, will do whatever is possible to help families of the victims get closure by finding and burying their loved ones. Then we will be able to read the page of our history and close it.


In remembering my brother, Willy Kandeke, I ask everyone of us to do as Willy always did, find the hurting and comfort them. Those in need, the poor and the sick – help them. In doing so, we will then eternalize the memories of our brothers and sisters, victims of Burundi massacres.


Let’s keep in our collective mind, how he and the others gave their lives for their country in doing good, therefore, knowing my brother, he would have asked to remember him as an old poem says it:


“ If  I should die and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep. For my sake, turn again to life and smile nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine. Complete those dear unfinished tasks of mine and I per chance, may therein comfort you.”




Didier Kandeke