Some Thoughts on 50 Years of Independence in Burundi

By Lidewyde Berckmoes Two weeks ago I was invited to give a talk in a colloquium organised in Brussels in light of the 50 years of Independence of Belgium’s former colony. The colloquium, with the title ‘at the cross-roads,’ was organised in the beautiful Palais d’Egmont, giving the meeting a very formal but also celebratory aura. Speakers and guests invited were mostly prominent Belgian and Burundian diplomats, scholars, and civil society representatives: for instance, two former presidents, the ambassador, and a professor who has been publishing about Burundi since the 1960s. I was well aware of my somewhat different standing, …

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