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Sep 2018
Why is this still happening?
So silently, yet still reported;
At great lengths they will go
- to make sure its reported.

Although the Government are in denial,
We are grateful for those who report
The ongoing slaughter of innocent people
Men, women, and children are caught.

Journalists themselves are risking their lives
To tell the world whats happening;
There can be no more dangerous a place
From which to report the sickening.

So where is the world?
The situation is dire -
And unless action is taken
...its going to catch fire.

People are still leaving,
For Tanzania,
A country now turning them back
Back home to face their fears.

But where are the World?
What is holding you back?
How can you just sit there
And ignore these attacks?

For I for one cannot,
And I have no power to act,
All I can do, is spread the word
And hope someone...will act.

Yes there was a time,
When a hundred thousand were killed each day,
That is hard to comprehend,
Not just for me - but for locals who got away.

It may not be happening quite on that scale,
But the fact that it is still happening,
Surely is warning enough.....
And the Government is in denial...

I am worried for Burundi,
But why is no one else?
How can you just sit there
- are you leaving it for someone else?

The attacks are still happening,
Day after day after day,
Bodies are still being found....
Before being rushed into the ground.

Such brutality is hard to stomach,
And I have the stomach for much,
But when I encountered the plight of Burundi,
That was just too much.

I dont know if I will finish this poem,
Because the images I now have are horrific,
So what must it be like....
For those having to live there with it?

Imagine the fear,
The total despair,
And the feeling of more
- that the world doesnt care.

It can be no wonder
That this little country
Is the unhappiest on Earth,
It is so clear to see.

Or for those who choose maybe
To see what others refuse,
Or ignore, or belittle,
Cover up- whatever word you use.

Each day there are reports,
Women and children found dead,
Their throats have been cut,
Bodies lay with no heads

They are *****, they are tortured,
For hours, days, or months,
There are forced disappearances,
- those run into the hundreds.

A machete is no longer an agricultural tool,
It has become a symbol of terror,
It is used to slice, tear, stab, torture;
It is a symbol of ******.

What must go through these peoples minds,
When they see someone with a machete,
What was once a necessary tool,
Now been used to butcher so many.

The genocide may be over,
And few even know it took in Burundi,
But the torture, the butchering continues
It continues horrifically.

I am a strong person,
I have read about, seen, and stomached a lot,
But there is nothing that even comes close
To how this puts my stomach in a knot.

The info is there if you seek it,
And please do - its risky to report;
I wonder how much more blood must be spilt
Until someone decides those responsible must be caught

The images they are many many,
The videos they are there too:
But why is it just me seeing this?
Where are the rest of you?

The day I saw the video,
I will never forget,
After what I had suffered myself,
Again I will never forget.

I do not regret what I saw,
For I believe it to be necessary,
Necessary for people to see,
But - those in Government - not me.

Now I have to be careful,
Because of what I saw,
That video put me in hospital -
It triggered something in my core.

It is spread through desperation,
To get a message to the world,
But I was one of only 3 to have seen that,
Maybe rightly so, but also absurd.

Pictures are horrific enough,
Sometimes missing parts are "shaded",
But then comes along another
The shadings not there, its a person beheaded.

But it it not the effect on myself,
Which pains me so much,
It is the fact that this is still happening,
And the world is so out of touch.

I now have to be careful,
But I will not stop,
I wont stop spreading the word,
Until this killing in Burundi stops.

The graphics are hard to put to words,
The testimonies harder still,
But I have tried to help you see,
Without making myself more ill.

The Imbonerakure,
The youth wing of the CNFDD,
Even seeing that word now..
Makes the panic rise within me

For they and the security are responsible,
For the majority of the brutal killings,
The ****, the torture, the unthinkable,
People are not even safe when leaving.

They come out at night,
The raid peoples homes,
**** entire families,
While others watch on.

They harass in the streets,
The harass at the borders,
They are everywhere,
Butchering as they are given orders.

The President thinks he was put there by God,
This is nothing shocking I know,
For for Burundi it means a lot,
It means he may stay for ever, death will be all they know.

There are memorials built,
To the many genocides to take place,
Each containing thousands of skulls,
Cracked where the machete went through the face.

Thousands and thousand of skulls lined up,
Of course there are no bodies -
From "Ear to Ear" was how the saying went,
As each head was cut from its body.

It has become so common to find someones head,
Something that for us here would cause fear in itself,
That now in Burundi there are proverbs and sayings,
School children quote wise words from these heads themselves.

Headless bodies float along the river,
Headless bodies dumped in bags with the *******,
A machete taken to the throat and then to the torso,
Ripping flesh, drawing blood, organs pulled out of the body for show.

For this is a living nightmare,
Blood flowing down roads and rivers,
Finding a hand, a head, a liver...
Would make many strong people shiver.

People are literally hacked to death,
Occasionally they are shot,
If I ever found myself in that position
I would outright beg to be shot.

The person I saw die in the video,
Took way more than 10 minutes for sure,
As hit throat was cut, he was stabbed, his skin ripped,
His blood spurted violently across the floor

I refuse to go into more detail than that,
For thats the one that triggered me,
I will never watch it again,
But I do want those in power to see.

Will someone please help Burundi?
I feel I have not done it justice with this poem,
The machete, the blood, the horror...
Please help... we all know who is to blame.

We all know....
Sorry for the graphic nature.  I rarely write poetry not driven by my own situation, but this is one I also cannot ignore :( And its not a very good poem, so apologies.  Hard to express it actually.
Written by
Nomkhumbulwa  38/F
(38/F)   
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