Here today I am going through some worrying reports, the leaked note I have read, have been discussed in other media, therefore my article is thicker and deeper. As I want to show the results and responses of the governmental officials from Burundi and Rwanda on the matter. Some of it should be expected, as Rwandan response would never say that actually tried to topple President Pierre Nkurunziza, which President Kagame could have that in him, would not be new considering how he together with Uganda President Museveni went and toppled Mobutu Seko Seko.
The recent news has also been questioned by some sources; I will add that tape in the end where that journalist asks if it is manufactured. You can have your take on it. The matter of violence that President Kagame has in the past and near present time in DRC, he could have had the capacity to pull it off. He has it in his veins just like President Museveni. Therefore we should not be shocked if this is facts and that the Burundian authorities is aggravated, the way the Burundian government has gone against their own opposition is not a just, but the cause of stopping a neighboring country trained militia or guerilla force should be reasonable. That proves the fragile situation in Burundi and that behind the scenes the powers around try to earn coins on it. Here take a look!
Training of militia to topple Nkurunziza:
“The Group spoke with 18 Burundian combatants, not associated with the Front National de Liberation (FNL) in Uvira Territory of South Kivu Province. They told the Group that they had been recruited in the Mahama Refugee Camp in eastern Rwanda in May and June 2015 and were given two months of military training by instructors, who included Rwandan military personnel, in a forest camp in Rwanda. Their training included military tactics and the maintenance and use of assault rifles and machine guns, as well as ideological and morale-building sessions. Some told the Group that they were also trained in the use of grenades, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. They were transported around Rwanda in the back of military trucks, often with Rwandan military escort. The Burundian combatants told the Group that there were least four companies of 100 recruits each being trained at the camp while they were there. Six of the trained combatants that the group spoke with were minors. They told the Group that the military training instructors at the camp knew that they were minors. The Burundian combatants showed the Group fake DRC identification cards that had been produced for them in Rwanda, so they could avoid suspicion while in the DRC. They crossed the Rusizi River in small groups at night from Rwanda into the DRC just south of the Kamanyola border post, with the assistance of a network based within the DRC. Like the FNL, they reported that their ultimate goal was to remove Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza” (UN, 2016).
Arms to the trained militia:
“Several individuals were arrested in October to November 2015 in Goma, North Kivu Province, on suspicion of involvement in arms smuggling from the DRC to other countries. The perpetrators are Rwandan or Congolese nationals and were caught at the Congolese-Rwandan border post with the weapons. Some of the weapons were hidden in bags of green beans or manioc, and other were hidden in the chassis of a car. The Group interviews the perpetrators some of whom confirmed the weapons were to be used in support of armed groups in Burundi” (UN, 2016).
Burundian embassy to Hauge stated this:
“Burundi welcomes the fact that the international community is beginning to discover that the source of the insecurity afflicting Burundi is Rwanda. Information available to the government of Burundi and credible information from some media (France 24) and investigative reports by some International Experts, including UN Experts have confirmed that Rwanda which is a neighboring country to Burundi recruits, trains and arms Burundian citizens including minors in the MAHAMA Refugees Camp in Rwanda and sends them into to the territory of Burundi to commit armed attacks against civilians, security and military targets” (…)” We know that some countries and some components of the international community have suspended or even stopped economic cooperation in order to force the democratically elected institutions by the sovereign people of Burundi and validated by the national and sub-regional judicial powers to submit and hand over power to anti-democratic Burundian forces. On the basis of credible information pointing to unprovoked acts of hostility and destabilization sponsored by Rwanda and executed by the violent opposition as the direct causes of the violence in Burundi, the Burundi Embassy in The Hague urges the countries which suspended economic cooperation with Burundi to review their positions” (Diplomat Magazine, 2016).
Burundi response to the news:
“The CNDD-FDD Party condemns Rwanda over its neocolonial purposes for having implemented the plan of Burundi occupation so as to lead the country through an ethnical vision which Paul Kagame would have used as he had done it during the period of FPR Inkotanyi . The Burundian democrats remind him that if there had been no complicity and the politico –military support of the MINUAR, the FPR -Inkotanyi would have never taken the power in Rwanda and Paul Kagame has made use of genocide, sacrificing his own brothers to take the power. It is what he wanted to do in Burundi, while outrageously overusing the word genocide as experienced in his country” (…)”It is also unbelievable that the aggressor KAGAME has never been blamed by organizations such as the African Union, the United Nations , the European Union and other international organizations and that on the contrary, most of those organizations and States have not done nothing but connived, imposing him an international force. Burundian People cannot be mistaken taking into consideration what MINUAR has done to help Kagame take the power. KAGAME wanted and want to apply the same experience he has lived in his country. He has created a rebellion under the blessing of some politico- mafia settings among others Louis Michel, and his friends to bring back the G7 and the G10 of Buyoya to the power by the cheating of a putsch and a government of transition. Therefore, the dangerous use of the word genocide and ethnic are nothing but shields for those pseudo nostalgic politicians with bad ideas” (Nyabenda, 2016).
Burundian Opposition claims:
”The opposition Burundi Democratic Rally (Radebu) chairman Jean de Dieu Mutabazi echoed the remarks, saying Rwanda was behind the war in a sister EAC member state and was worsening the unrest that has so far claimed hundreds of lives. “There’s this neighbour of ours, Rwanda, under the warmonger President Paul Kagame, who has been fighting in DR Congo and recently wanted to fight Tanzania,” Mr Mutabazi charged. “He is the one providing arms and logistical support to the rebels attacking Burundi.” Jacques Bigirimana, president of the FNL party, said although the belligerents were keen on national dialogue in a bid to end the political crisis, the country was under siege from what he termed as “destabilisation forces sponsored by Rwanda” (Ihucha, 2016).
“Last December, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame dismissed as “childish” allegations that Rwanda had stoked instability in Burundi and said Rwandan troops would play no part in any intervention in the neighbouring country” (Ihucha, 2016).
Rwandan Foreign Minister counters the report:
“Speaking to reporters on Friday, Louis Mushikiwabo, Rwanda foreign minister said that allegations were baseless and lies. “Rwanda hosting a big number of Burundian refugees in various refugee camps in the country does not mean training them to overthrow Burundian government? We cannot chase them back to their home country if they are not sure of their safety. Burundian government is in better position to look for a possible lasting solution to bring peace in Burundi,” she said” (China.org.cn, 2016).
MONUSCO statement recently:
“The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has sovereign and primary responsibility for the protection of its citizens. MONUSCO stands ready to support the Government in these efforts, in line with its mandate to protect civilians. In this regard, MONUSCO welcomes the Government’s acceptance of the Mission’s proposal to resume coordinated offensive operations, which resulted in an agreed arrangement for military cooperation on 28 January 2016. With regard to cooperation with the FARDC, MONUSCO is confident that the measures put in place with the Government to mitigate risk and provide appropriate monitoring where necessary will ensure that MONUSCO-supported operations against ADF, FDLR and other armed groups are undertaken in line with the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy” (MONUSCO, 2016).
EALA statement on Burundi:
“Leontine Nzeyimana, Minister for EAC Affairs in Burundi however included a mix of representatives from government, political parties, and civil society. On her part, the minister noted: “As it has been happening in Burundi since the early 1960’s, the electioneering period was marked by negative propaganda intended to create in Burundi a political and institutional instability” (…)”The importance of this crisis to the EAC, the Report added, was brought home by accusations leveled against a Partner state by the Government-led delegation. Except for one Report, the delegation was unable to provide adequate evidence to the Committee to validate the claim that the Republic of Rwanda is hosting and militarily training Burundi refugees” (EALA, 2016).
The promised youtube-clip:
There is lots of statement that is hard to verify or grasp. Certainly all of the actors have a place in the motions and want to achieve something to prove their worth. The Government of Burundi is the one that is under fire, and for the moment they will be as long as the attacks on the opposition and way to civil war is continuing, while the refugees goes into DRC, Tanzania and Rwanda, even in Uganda.
The conflict and crisis has made the inter-dialogue stifled and the African Union hasn’t made any progress on the issues in the country. While Rwandan government might have seen it as it golden hour; as they saw it in the DRC back in day. So here we are in this day where Burundi is a pawn while the Government and Burundian National Forces, does not only fight their own public to stay in power, but might also fight against foreign trained forces; which it might happen and wouldn’t surprise me as the history of President Kagame lingers on. As he centers more and more power in Rwanda around himself in neo-Museveni way, he looks more and more like President Museveni, just a Rwandan counter-part. So President Nkurunziza is under fire and has a lot of work to generate peace, but this seems like a way to get there.
The results of this are that we can question if the Rwandan government wanted to bring down the Government of Burundian one. If not so the United Nations wanted this to slip out so their wish for peacekeepers could gain foothold in the UN Headquarters in New York, as they have seen the African Union have given-up the direct African answer to the conflict. Peace.
China.org.cn – ‘Rwanda dismisses UN report on training Burundi rebels’ (05.02.2016) link: http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2016-02/06/content_37747742.htm
Diplomat Magazine – ‘Burundi’ statement on current situation’ (05.02.2016) link: http://www.diplomatmagazine.nl/2016/02/05/25834/
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) – ‘EALA concerned about Republic of Burundi’ (05.02.2016) link: http://www.eac.int/news-and-media/press-releases/20160205/eala-concerned-about-republic-burundi
MONUSCO – ‘Press Statement of MONUSCO Regarding Operations Against Armed Groups in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo’ (02.02.2016) link: http://monusco.unmissions.org/Default.aspx?tabid=10662&ctl=Details&mid=15045&ItemID=21686&language=en-US
Nyabenda, Pascal – ‘The 26th summit of the African Union Heads of State has proven that they have understood, Burundian People is deeply indebted to them’ (02.02.2016) Chairman of CNDD-FDD
Ihucha, Adam – ‘EALA declines to summon Rwanda over rebel claims’ (30.01.2016) link: http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/EALA-declines-to-summon-Rwanda-over-rebel-claims/-/2558/3055230/-/76bvilz/-/index.html
United Nations – ‘Security Council Committee Established Persuant to Resolution 1533 (2004) Concerning the Democratic Republic of Congo – !5th January 2016 (S/AC.43/2016/GE/OC.2) – Gaston Gramjo
In this day and age we have peoples in power who wish to stay there. They stay in power on overtime. They change the constitution and amendments to make sure that they can get re-elected. The irony is that many of this leaders accepted when they came into power the new constitutions and laws. After a while and their terms running out they have to switch the laws for their own purpose. The laws are supposed to be for the best of their countries and not one person or party. Therefore you see reactions in these nations as they see that their leaders continue at any cost. This makes people to react like they did in DRC in January while Joseph Kabila opted for a third term. The coup in Burundi was another type of reaction to their president Pierre Nkurunziza changed the law so he could run for a third term. Also the public reacted to it. It’s also happening in Rwanda where the RPF and their president Paul Kagame will change laws so he can run for a third term. They are following the suit of President Museveni in Uganda. Who came to power with the rifles in 1986 and made a constitution in 1995. And abolished the term limits in 2005. And is soon running again in 2016, in this piece I will describe the position of the countries land by land in the East Africa. This is from Burundi to Uganda.
In the end of April in 2015 the Constitutional Court made an amendment that gave CNDD-FDD party flagbearer Pierre Nkurunziza an possibility to stand as a president for the third term. His first term was he selected by the parliament and not the people in 2005, the second term he was elected through elections in 2010. So this spring the President made moves to secure power again and break with the Arusha Agreement to secure himself more years as president of Burundi. There was supposed to be an election after the new amendment was passed this year. Parts of the military went on a coup d’etat when the President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania on an EAC conference. The Coup was squashed quickly. But the protest has continued. The election has been postponed. There has been refugees going to DRC, Tanzania and Rwanda following the protest against a third term for Pierre Nkurunziza. But the opposition and the protest against the third term has not stopped in the country since the last election. The violence between government army and the protesters are continuing. And the official election for his third term is still to come.
Democratic Republic of Congo:
In Democratic Republic of Congo the son of the late assassinated Laurent-Desire Kabila, Joseph Kabila has been in charge since 2001. His first election was won in 2006. Already in 2011 he got won the election the second time. Now since the spring Joseph Kabila has worked on making sure he could get a third term. There been responses from opposition and NGOs. #Telema protest happened in January when the draft for third term was made. Still been silence from the government since then. But there has been movement again during late summer and July.
In Kenya they got a new constitution in 2010. The constitution specifies that the President have a certain limit of two terms. The last President of Kenya was Mwai Kibaki he led the country from 2002-2007. He won the second election in 2007 that lasted to 2013. In 2013, some issues from the opposition to the winning election of Uhuru Kenyatta the son of the first president of the newly independent Kenya Jomo Kenyatta. So the Supreme Court handled the case and gave Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Alliance their stamp on the first term for him. There are no current plans of changing the 2010 constitution to abolish or change the levels of terms for presidents in Kenya.
In Rwanda the RPA came to power after the genocide in 1994. After this the RPA became RPF is Rwandan Patriotic Front from the former Rwandan Patriotic Army. Paul Kagame was the Vice-President until 2000 when the National Assembly and government ministers elected him as president. In 2003 a new constitution came to force. Paul Kagame was relected in that year. Second election was in 2010 where he won in a landslide. Now he is working on tweaking the constitution to fix it so that Paul Kagame and the RPF can in power yet another term after next election.
Tanzania has a special place after Julius Nyerere was in charge of the country since independence from 1964 to 1985. The Constitution of Tanzania is from 1977. That says that the president can only be in charge for two terms of 5 years each. After Julius Nyerere reign this has been followed. The party that he started is still running the country. First was president after Nyerere was Ali Hassan Mwinyi from 1985 to 1995. After him came Benjamin Mpeka from 1995 to 2005. The recent President is stepping down Jakaya Kikwete after taking his two terms from 2005 to 2015. In the next election the Party of the Revolution (CCM) has choice been on the new president candidate John Magufuli. President Kikwete will not be like his neighbors who try to stay in power and make amendments to the constitution.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni came to power after a coup d’etat in 1986 to overthrow of Obote II and the interim government of Tito Okello who came with an army of rebels from Tanzania with support of Julius Nyerere. This was the NRA (National Resistance Army) who later became the NRM (National Resistance Movement). After being in power a long time the new constitution came into being 1995. The first presidential election in a one-part state was in 1996. The same was in 2001. Both of these elections President Museveni won landslides in the county. To change so that President Museveni could be voted in again, the Parliament abolished term limits that year and also opened for multiparty elections. In 2006 the first multiparty elections under the new regime happen and Museveni won a landslide in the election. The next election in 2011 was reported to be rigged by the regime and President Museveni won with 68%.. Right now he is preparing for yet another term as president of Uganda. After running the country since 1986 and he has “won” 4 elections and is making ready for his fifth. This election is going to be held in February 2016 and the nation is already gearing up for the primaries as we speak. In both the NRM party and also the opposition, though the Public Order Management Bill is putting restraint on dissidents from the NRM.
(This post was updated on 21.07.2015 – because of some wrong information. Its now corrected). Peace.