Someone has lit the matches in Bujumbura, Burundi, as President Pierre Nkurunziza haven’t only been a cowardly not attending the recent 20th Heads of State Meeting in Arusha, Tanzania of the East African Community (EAC). This is as the Inclusive Inter-Burundian Dialogue have been stalled, as the Burundi Crisis of 2015 doesn’t die down and Nkurunziza haven’t gotten rid of all his enemies of the state yet.
He has suspended several of Non-Governmental Organizations, recently closed the UN Human Rights Office there. Nkurunziza has closed both local media houses, but also international from having possibility to report from Burundi. Therefore, the amount of reports are dwindling. Also the civic space and liberty to assemble, as the State has put on news laws, which the NGOs and other acquires to follow to be able to work there.
Therefore, the reality is that Nkurunziza and the authorities are not only stifling own people by any means, he is now trying to do it on a bigger stage. He has already done what he can get rid of FNL and other opposition leaders. That is why there been Burundian people who has fled the Republic to get safe-haven in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and in Rwanda. This cannot be forgotten, that because one man wanted to create a Constitutional Crisis by having a Third Term.
The 2015 Third Term Coup, the Constitutional Court judgment is the reason for all the problems today. That the President lingers on and does whatever he cans to stay. Nkurunziza are forging fires elsewhere, he has even sent soldiers into the DRC to fight insurgency there too. That has been reported in the recent months.
While he is escalating tensions and making his own issues regional, as he blames Rwanda for trying to topple him. Paul Kagame has helped topple leaders in the DRC in the past, also topple the previous leadership in Rwanda, too. But at this very moment, it seems more like making a foreign enemy to save face internally. Nkurunziza has enough problems at home, that the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) doesn’t have to intervene. Not that Kagame is gentle nad humble, but he would have done it with perfection if had really tried. He wouldn’t have played around with toy-soldiers. He would have sent brigades, had RPGs and blown the border-regions into pieces.
However, that isn’t the case, the CNDD-FDD and Nkurunziza are playing with fire. That is maybe why he has invested such vast amount of time in the Imbonerakura, which he has even promoted the previous leader of into his cabinet. While they are joining together with soldiers and police officers, ghosting oppositions and activists. They are either detained, kidnapped or killed.
That is why, the President is trying again to make Rwanda the giant trouble, as an Enemy. As he cannot make more of his people his enemies. There aren’t enough Burundians to do so after 3 years of turmoil. He has used the Rwandan people as pawns before and said so, as there has been bad-blood between the neighbors. But at this point of time, Nkurunziza are fishing for sympathy and also leverage. As he has none in elsewhere.
That is why he had to abstain and boycott the EAC Summit of late. Because, Nkurunziza isn’t that brilliant and he needs something to sustain himself and his lack of integrity. As he cannot stall or play foolish with the dialogue anymore. We all know why, he is not interested in anything else than running himself in 2020. He wants to be President for Life. He is just doing the dialogue to up-ease and secure foreign support. However, that is dwindling and lackluster because of his own activity within his own borders.
Therefore, he needs blood and bad-blood from the neighbor to look good. Even if that makes him look stupid. As we know the motives behind it. Shield himself from local criticism, because he is fighting a foreign adversary, who he needed to retaliate against to save himself. That would be self-defense. Alas, it isn’t really, because the adversary … aren’t fighting him.
Nkurunziza is playing with fire, using matches, but not burning the hut. Pierre is only burning his fingers on the matches. Peace.