On Friday I had the honour of meeting Domitien Ndayizeye, since April the president of Burundi. My daughter Charlotte was killed there in December 2000. I was greatly reassured by his apparent determination to do what he could to bring to justice the perpetrators of a crime which also claimed the life of Charlotte's Burundian fiance and more than 20 other passengers on the Titanic bus, including children. He agreed that this, like numerous other attacks by the same forces, was a crime against humanity and we all look forward to the day when the facts can be presented to an international commission of inquiry.
Although I do not know what the outcome of his meetings with Jack Straw and Valerie Amos will be, I came away feeling that the efforts to bring about a peaceful solution to Burundi's civil war should be given the strongest possible support. The latest report I have seen gave the number of casualties, over the last few days, as 170. We continue to have the gravest concern for the safety of the family of Charlotte's fiance, and for the civilian population. Important as it is to listen to the poor (Letters, July 11), without basic security, much-needed aid cannot bear fruit. South African troops are giving help, but the whole international community has a role to play here.
Furthermore, the extremist genocidal groups have members in Europe, where they are able to seek sanctuary and raise funds. It is important therefore that such groups be proscribed in Europe. Even had my daughter not been among those killed, it would still have been important to concern ourselves with the plight of the inhabitants of Burundi and not leave the people of this small impoverished country to cope as best they can.