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Margot Wilson
"It is quite clear that it was deliberate"
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Wednesday, 3 January, 2001, 12:38 GMT
Mother calls for massacre inquiry
Charlotte Wilson
Charlotte Wilson: "Executed"
The mother of a Briton killed near the Burundian capital Bujumbura has called for the UK Foreign Office to treat it as a war crime and ensure a proper investigation is held.

Charlotte Wilson, 27, and her Burundian fiancé were "executed" along with 19 fellow passengers when their bus was ambushed near Kilima, 18 miles north west of the capital.

Margot Wilson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "This was a political crime. If you're just stealing from people you don't then systematically shoot them all."

Ms Wilson called for tighter controls over the supply of arms to the region "to make sure guns don't get into these extremely ruthless and undemocratic killers' hands".

British people and the British Government have been doing some work out there that we can all be extremely proud

Charlotte's brother, Richard Wilson
"The gun that killed her could have come from Britain because we are a major supplier of arms," she said

Charlotte's brother, Richard, added: "If there are people out there wondering if there is anything they can do, the first thing you can do is find out as much as you can about Rwanda and the region in general.

"British people and the British Government have been doing some work out there that we can all be extremely proud of and it is important that we are all aware of it."

A Foreign Office spokesman condemned the attack and reiterated its advice that British nationals should not travel to Burundi.

Charlotte had been working with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) as a science teacher at Shyogwe secondary school in neighbouring Rwanda since September 1999.

She was due to complete her placement in June.

A further 20 people were injured in the attack.

Most of the victims, including several women and children, were in their late 20s or early 30s from Rwanda and Burundi making what was seen as a routine journey south across the border from the capital Kigali.

A Rwandan woman who escaped the massacre said the bus overturned before being surrounded by a gang of armed men.

I began begging them to spare my life and my child's

The woman said: "We were asked to lie down on the concrete road.

"When they voiced their intention to kill us, I began begging them to spare my life and my child's."

The Burundi Government has blamed Hutu guerrillas for the shootings.

Minister of Interior, Asension Twagi Ramungu, said the ambush was a tragedy for Rwanda and Burundi and called for stronger international action against the Hutu rebels.

Ms Wilson is the latest in a line of Britons to lose their life because of conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in east Africa.

Four Britons were among eight tourists who were murdered with machetes and hammers, shot and raped by Rwandan Hutu rebels in Uganda's Impenetrable Forest in March 1999.

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31 Dec 00 | Africa
Rwanda buries bus attack victims
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