The Titanic Express massacre 15 years ago was one of many atrocities against civilians in Burundi that have taken place over the last few decades. Overshadowed from an international viewpoint by the Rwandan genocide, the ongoing conflict in Burundi has taken many lives and is still very much unresolved. Recent flare-ups, not least the violent repression of anti-government protests, are a chilling sign that the situation is again deteriorating.
Our production of A Place at the Table was initially a response to The Titanic Express massacre, although it developed into a broader piece about the Burundian conflict and the how difficult it is for outsiders to engage fully with it. Making it was a profoundly affecting experience and has left us marked for ever with stories of those suffering the effects of violence in Burundi.
And it’s true that it’s a difficult conflict to understand. It’s complicated, and can be traced back to colonialism and beyond. It is part of a wider set of regional conflicts. It’s a tangle of race, class and geography. But the need for peace and justice is simple, even if achieving them is not.
The Alliance for Justice, a campaign to end impunity for those who have committed atrocities in Burundi, The Democratic Republic of Congo and worldwide, has organised a vigil to mark the 15th anniversary of the Titanic Express massacre.
The time is right to increase the pressure on the international community as well as to commemorate a terrible loss. Please come along if you can. The details are here.