Burundi: A Conversation on Conflict

December 4, 2015, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Vanderbilt Hall 204
40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012



This event is open to the general public and will be followed by a vigil.

Panel

This panel discussion on Burundi will examine the series of events leading up to and after April 25th 2015, when the ruling political party in Burundi, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), announced the incumbent President of Burundi’s, Pierre Nkurunziza, candidacy for a third term in the 2015 presidential election. Widespread protests sparked by the announcement erupted in the capital of Bujumbura. Dangerous rhetoric from government officials in early November has alarmed the international community to an imminent threat of mass killing. Hundreds of thousands have already fled the country. Political opposition to the current President and his ruling party find themselves in exile. Join us for a conversation with scholars, journalist, activist and genocide survivors  on the infringement on rights of journalists, the regular extra-judicial killings of civilians and the polarization of the country’s regime. Panelists will seek to provide analysis, historical background, first-hand narratives. There will be time for Q&A following the panel discussion.

The speakers

Jacqueline Murekatete is a human rights activist, survivor of the Rwandan Genocide and founder of the NGO Jacqueline’s Human Rights Corner. At age nine, Murekatete lost the majority of her family during the 1994 Rwandan genocide. In 1995 Jacqueline was taken in and raised by her uncle in the United States. Jacqueline is a recipient of the Global Peace and Tolerance Award from the United Nations and is also an award winner of the 2010 VH1 Do Something Awards.

John Manirakiza is a Burundian-American whose career has spanned from Burundi, to the USA, through Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique. John is the co-founder and spokesperson for Engaging For Action in Burundi(EFAB-BIRATURABA), a US-Based Burundian Diaspora organization committed to a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Burundi. John coordinates advocacy actions toward increased awareness about the Burundian crisis through activities including and not limited to debates, rallies, demonstrations, and outreach to local, state and federal United States officials. John provides regular political analysis on Media such as Voice of America (Radio and TV in English, French, Kirundi), Sahara Reporters, Washington Africa Now WPFW, Panelist on US Congress Foreign Affairs Subcomittee, testimony on Burundian Crisis.

Carine Nantulya is a transitional justice practitioner with over ten years experience in human rights programming (including human rights journalism), rule of law and conflict resolution in different African post conflict settings including Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone and South Africa among others. She has worked as an independent consultant and evaluator for international organizations, governments and indigenous African organizations.  A Burundian national, she has been involved in the national discussion and debate on reconciliation, accountability and rule of law, including covering critical stages of the Arusha Peace Agreement of August 2000. She has coordinated a human rights program at the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre and advised several public and private entities. She worked with the mediator of the peace negotiations between the Uganda Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, advised the negotiation teams, and, facilitated consultations in Uganda to include the views of victims and survivors in the protocols under negotiation. 

Danny Gold is a journalist who specializes in conflict and criminal justice. Danny previously freelanced mostly for the Wall Street Journal, now heading up Vice’s new news vertical. He has recently branched out into covering conflict, and has published pieces from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Danny is also a Ford International Fellow at the International Center for Journalists with a focus on Buddhist and Muslim tensions in Burma. Danny hosted a 10 part series on the Burundian crisis this past Spring for VICE news. His series gave viewers a comprehensive view of the nation leading up to and during the election period.

Cyrus Samii is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Politics, New York University. Samii wrote his dissertation on the Burundian Civil War that lasted from 1993 to 2005, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed. The conflict ended with a peace process that brought in the 2005 constitution providing guaranteed representation for both Hutu and Tutsi, and parliamentary elections that led to Pierre Nkurunziza, from the FDD, becoming President. Samii has been vocal on social media, specifically Twitter, on Burundi. His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Political Analysis, and Survey Methodology. He has designed and carried out field studies, among others, in Burundi.