The Tutsis Take Over

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BUJUMBURA, Burundi: Killing to prevent more killing seems to make sense in Burundi. A day after the Tutsi-led military deposed the Central African country's Hutu president, the leader of the coup, Pierre Buyoya, said that was exactly what he was doing. "The change is not a classic coup," the Tutsi major said at a news conference Friday. "It is an action to save a people in distress and stop repeated massacres and killing all over the country." The overthrown president, Sylvestre Nitibantunganya, remains in the U.S. ambassador's home and maintains that he is still the leader of Burundi. Ironically, Buyoya was responsible for Burundi's first free elections in 1993. At the same time, he has a history of interfering with the presidencies of others. (After helping overthrow a military dictatorship in 1987, he has now participated in two coups.) The head of the largest Hutu political party called on members to reject Buyoya's "return by the barrel of the gun" and appealed to the international community to restore democracy. But the Clinton Administration has drawn the line at logistical support for an international peacekeeping force. TIME's Andrew Purvis says only international military intervention would make a difference: "So long as Hutu and Tutsi are left to themselves, the killing will continue." Terence Nelan