A bipartisan group of congressional aides has voiced strong concern about the administration's continuation of $5.5 million to the tiny African nation of Burundi despite a tribal massacre by its military.
Several House Foreign Affairs Committee staff members said they sharply questioned administration officials about the rationale for U.S. aid to Burundi at a Sept. 8 meeting and were dissatisfied with the explanations."The continuation of aid even after the massacre may give the impression that the United States supports the practices of the Burundi government," said an aide to Howard Wolpe, D-Mich., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on African affairs.
An aide to Gus Yatron, D-Pa., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights and international organizations, said Yatron "still has serious concerns about what the administration is doing."
In mid-August, the Burundi Army of Tutsi tribesmen killed between 5,000 and 20,000 members of the Hutu tribe in the east-central African country and caused an additional 60,000 Hutus to flee to neighboring Rwanda, according to U.S. estimates.