Burundi a member of the East African Community holds its polls in 2015, a country known for its civil war which lasted 10 years sparked off by the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.
The country has kept on witnessing Hutu (majority), Tutsi and the Twa (minority) political elites tussle over land and power have led to delicate balancing of power.
The Burundian Government - the ruling party National Council for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) –Forces for Defense of Democracy party does not want to initiate peaceful democratic political transition.
Several issues such as restrictions on opposition activities and the Media, the erosion of a power-sharing peace deal and the President Pierre Nkurunziza’s allegedly unconstitutional bid to run for a third term that has irritated national and international leaders.
To begin with restrictions on opposition parties, civil society organizations and media activities: neither are they authorized to meet their members for opposition parties nor to hold demonstrations.
The recent case occurred on 9th April 2014, when the civil society organisations organized a demonstration in the Ernest Manirumva memory who was assassinated on 9th April 2009 while investigating several file such as weapons commanded by the National police through the airport but non has been traced in NTIC and for economic embezzlement- he was the Deputy Chairperson of Fighting Against corruption and economic embezzlement Observatory (OLUCOME) and the events of March 8, when fighting broke out in connection with two separate events sponsored by the opposition political parties.
As the US envoy, Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations said, these events seem to reflect broader erosion, shrinking of political space for the opposition and independent voices in Burundi -- including new and restrictive media and assembly laws.
She emphasized that an environment that is free and open to dialogue is essential, especially as the government considers changes to Burundi’s post-war constitution. Efforts to undermine the Arusha consensus on power-sharing and political inclusion will put a hard-won peace at risk.
|Le président du Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza|
Consequently, three UN persons Ambassador Samantha Power, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Adama Ndieng, Special Counselor in the United Nations in charge of genocide issues and the British Minister in Charge of African Affairs, recently visited Burundi on the distribution of arms to the youths belonging to CNDD-FDD-the ruling party as revealed by the Burundi Office of the United Nations.
The officials have made proposals to conduct a survey if those youths are really armed but the government has refuted the claims as not true but rumours.
Now, people are embarrassed. Leaders from opposition parties, journalists who have been working on the issue have demanded for clarifications on the issue.
However, the CNDD-FDD youths have always been seen armed with bludgeon and machetes causing fear among people and some political opposition parties.
According, to the Arusha Accord 2000 agreements, it is not allowed for any president to run for a third term, but the President has not made his position known publicly whether he is vying. He has said that only his party and the constitutional court will determine if he is eligible- what it is not good seen by the opposition and civil society.
Written By: Diane Uwimana
Written By: Diane Uwimana