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Rwanda 1994: Gen. Paul Kagame letter of 10. August 1994 (Confidentiel)

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Opinion: The acts against the will of people, as the Opposition are under-fire in the Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Uganda and Kenya. Impressive how the Opposition is burning while the government tries to get away with it!

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We live in a Post-Modern world they say, still our leaders acts like medieval times, they are forcing themselves on their nations, on their economies and use their knights to secure their kingdom, their republic and fiefdom. The Opposition who is not accepting the legitimacy of these medieval acts upon their nations are harassed and taken to court, by them who act like they are above the law, as they decree the laws and are the head of state. Therefore this pattern isn’t new; Machiavelli would be proud and wonder if these leaders had read his work “The Prince”.

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Just as the wreckage of the local laws and ushering in the third term for CNDD-FDD President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has used the Army and Police to control the country by all means, as the Opposition are dwindling away… like the assassination and killingsof Zedi Feruzi (Union for Peace and Democracy – UPD), Jean Paul Ngendakumana (Front for Democracy in Burundi – Frodebu), Patrice Gahungu (Union for Peace and Democracy – UPD) and Pontien Barutwanayo (National Liberation Forces). Are some men who are gone in the wind by the power-hungry president in Burundi, while Opposition leader who wanted to live like UPD Agathon Rwasa accepted the role as Deputy Speaker in Parliament; so the leadership of CNDD-FDD controls while the real dissidents are either dead or fled as the safety to be opposition in Burundi is not a safe position as the leadership have proven vigilant in getting rid of the ones who stands in the way of Nkurunziza.

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While in Rwanda, the neighbor who have had a government under the Rwandan Patriotic Front since 1994, where the current second term President Paul Kagame is consolidating his position while the opposition lingers or have no place in the landscape as the militarized politics there does accept anything else then the will of Paul Kagame. Therefore the leader of the FDU (Forces Democratiques Unifies) Victorie Ingabire Umuhoza is lingering in jail since 2013 and is sentenced to a 15 year jail time. While the fighting Democratic Green Party of Rwanda with their leader Frank Habineza have worked to stifle the abolishment for Presidential term limits, but before that it took the party four years to be verified through the lawful process of the country when it was allowed to exist in 2013. So it is not like the President Kagame is happy about having the DGPR and the FDU in the country. Today the Lawyer (20.05.2016) representing Victorie Ingaire Umuhoza has been expelled from the African Court of Human and People’s Rights, the African Union Courts in Gambia. So the case on human rights must have tanked or been dismissed by the court, but nothing is clarified on the situation on the matter and Victorie Ingabire Umuhoza (FDU) there!

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In the Democratic Republic of Congo the leadership around the Second Kabila, or Second term President Joseph Kabila, where there are supposed to be an election later this year and the running up to it. As the MLC have lost their leader at the ICC with Jean-Pierre Bemba charged there recently, as he was part of the “unity” government together with Kabila until the ICC caught up with him. While the Opposition have been under fire as Felix Tshisekendi is even behind the main contender in the DRC. As the Opposition went behind Moïse Katumbi, the ones behind on the 4th May 2016 was the G-7, the Collectif des Nationalistes and also Alliance pour la Republique. So the Football Tycoon and former Governor of Katanga have gotten heavy loads behind him and his candidature, while Kabila have been driving together with the military in Lubumbashi and other places. While that intimidation have not been enough as the supporters of the opposition have felt the tear-gas and Police Force dispersing them. Moïse Katumbi is now charged with hiring mercenaries and threatening National Security, with an arrest warrant on him. Certainly an effective to silence main candidate before the Presidential Election later in the year, since the Kabila government have not lead to progress or any clear-cut development. Just to put some intelligence on it: “The Police has” embarked on the track of an operation called OP Congo whose objectives, human resources , logistics, finance and modus operandi , appear to be known today as Cow Boy “, the code name that refers to Moïse Katumbi ” (LE SOFT INTERNATIONAL, 19.05.2016). With this in mind we can see how the Police have planned to take down the candidacy of Hon. Katumbi in favor of Kabila and continue the supremacy of the Kabila Family over the Congolese Republic!

Besigye 18.05.2016 Nakawa

In Uganda after a hectic and shady election, with the Police involved directly in Opposition parties movement and also government control of the Electoral Commission that had to select the men that was decided by the Executive, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President since 1986 who have total control of National Resistance Movement and tries to crash the opposition. The way he does that is to get rid of strong leaders from Parliament like Dr. Olara Otunnu while paying loyalty to new Party Leader Hon. Jimmy Akena of Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) and also not allowing Norbert Mao from Democratic Party of Uganda, therefore weakening that party to. Finally to by decree of loyal judge Stephen Kavuma who banned the Defiance Campaign for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), that has made it “legal” for the authority for the Police to house-arrest, detain and siege the Headquarters, in general making all activities of the Opposition Party illegal. By that extent making the Presidential Candidate of FDC Dr. Kizza Besigye that had the support of the people while the Ruling Party rigged the election with amp-speed had a mock swearing-in the day before the “official” one towards the Seventh Term of Museveni. Since then has been taken airlifted from Kampala to Moroto, and after local unrest in Moroto, taken back to Kampala, and he is now charged with “Treason” as he has questioned the powers to be and the President, as the sham election that we’re held is righteous to ask the legitimacy of it. So now the People’s President Besigye is now behind bars, while Museveni does what he can to again consolidate all power and continue everything as usual, while the FDC is harassed, detained and silenced by the Court Order. Even JEEMA Fourm has had visits of Police Force and even artist of Bobi Wine have been detained because they speak up against the regime. So the Police Force and the Army is the strength behind Museveni, not loyalty or love from the People, that he has lost and dwindled away, therefore he pays MPs to get the votes he need, not because of his vision or wisdom of building the nation. Therefore he prosecutes and takes down the FDC as they are everything he is not…

Odinga 25.04.2016

In Kenya, where there are some kind of calm, though there is not criminalized the Opposition, as the Opposition parties are in a Coalition, the same as the ruling regime under the Jubilee, who will become one-party instead of Coalition into the General Election in 2017. Jubilee Alliance Party will soon be truly founded though existed without legal paperwork. While the Opposition in the Coalition of Democratic and Reform (CORD-Kenya) are demonstrating against a biased Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC); something IEBC are under fire by the Opposition coalition CORD-Kenya on three Mondays. The Nairobi Metropolitan Police have gone too far in dispersing the Opposition demonstrators, as the Police Brutality is not only water-cannons and the tear-gas against leaders or the people, together with the violence of fighting and kicking civilians, even shooting at Hon. Raila Odinga car at the last demonstrations. So the violent Police are now showing hatred against the Opposition. The Kenyan Government is not detaining or directly harassing the Opposition, but the tear-gas of demonstrations and not listening to claims, instead counter-claiming they are trying to use the laws and Electoral laws to shun them from power, while even making laws to fix and allow the Jubilee Coalition to become a legitimate party in the state. So the leadership of Jubilee allows them to fix as they need, but not see the questions of opposition and use tear-gas to silence them before the General Election 2017. There are worrying signs of oppressive behavior… and also Jubilee MPs who attacks the legitimate demonstrations and questionable acts from the IEBC in the past and in the coming future election. That shouldn’t be masked to the side as the dialogue and discussion between Jubilee and CORD-Kenya, should settle this early, so they could work initially for peaceful election in unison political climate, instead of creating a valley between the Coalitions. That is not something Kenya needs…

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The Oppositions does not have it easy and the levels are proven, the worst are Rwanda and Burundi, even if the DGPR is allowed to exist as long as they don’t really challenge the presidency and their regime, because if they do they will be behind bars for National Security sake like FDU Victorie Ingabire Uhuhoza. While in Burundi the Opposition to the third term president Nkurunziza have been assassinated or killed, this while the government together with stakeholders have had peace-talks with stakeholders and also the remaining Opposition; the Opposition that has not already been killed or assassinated. In Uganda the FDC former Presidential Candidate Dr. Kizza Besigye is charged with “Treason” and still many of the FDC leaders and supporters detained, while the headquarters are sieged by the Police. In Democratic Republic of Congo the Opposition Presidential Candidate Moïse Katumbi is charged for hiring mercenaries and causing problems for National Security, while the incumbent President tries to stifle the best candidate in the up-coming election by doing so, as the Opposition Parties have gone behind candidature of Katumbi. Also in Kenya, the place where it is the best in these countries to be a Opposition, as they are more free, but to an extent, if they question the government or the Electoral Reforms of the IEBC; that is not accepted by the Nairobi Police who brutally disperse the demonstrators of the Opposition and the Opposition leader Hon. Raila Odinga have been tear-gassed and his car been shot at. So there is time to settle down for the government and time for dialogue, so the escalated violence doesn’t continue into the elections, as the citizens of Kenya doesn’t deserve that and neither does the demonstrators who are being violated around the Anniversary Tower.

That’s enough for now. Peace.

Press Statement – Burundi : Repression of a genocidal character, the UN’s response must be strong (15.04.2016)

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PARIS, France, April 15, 2016 Back from a fact-finding mission in Burundi, conducted in March 2016, FIDH and ITEKA condemn serious human rights violations in Burundi, mainly perpetrated by defence and security forces, against a background of ethnic and genocidal ideology. The ongoing crimes could already be qualified as crimes against humanity and there are now signs that the crisis could lead to acts of genocide. This crisis demands a strong response from the UN, notably through the deployment of a UN police and an international commission of inquiry to prevent mass atrocities.

Since April 2015, 700 people have allegedly been killed, 4,300 have been arbitrarily detained, and several hundred people (800 according to some sources) have been forcily disappeared.  Hundreds of other people have been tortured and dozens of women have been sexually assaulted. As a result of the conflict in Burundi, more than 250,000 Burundians have already fled the country. While the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is set to submit options for the deployment of UN elements by 15 April, FIDH and ITEKA, call upon the international community, including the UN Security Council, to deploy an international police task force of at least 500 police officers with the objective of protecting civilians, stopping ongoing lethal violence, and preventing further armed clashes. FIDH and Iteka believe that if these trends continue, the  African Union or the United Nations  must send a peacekeeping force  to end the violence and the repression of an increasingly genocidal nature.
During its mission, and in a forthcoming report, the FIDH delegation has documented and established the continuation of targeted and extra-judicial killings; of daily arbitrary arrests and detention; of the intensification of enforced disappearances and illegal detention facilities as well as torture. FIDH also witnessed the high level of surveillance and control on Burundian society by security forces, including by the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and by the ruling party’s youth militias, the Imbunerakure.

“The situation is particularly worrying with the NIS – the main actor of the repression – that has infiltrated every layer of society and systematically tortures detainees. Parallel chains of command have been established within the security forces to orchestrate the repression. Part of the Imbunerakure1 militia is trained, armed, and deployed throughout the country and acts as the defacto security forces. Tensions within the army are extremely vivid. The international community must do everything in its power to protect civilians and prevent the situation from getting out of control,” said Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. “The nature of the crimes witnessed by the FIDH delegation could very well fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Prosecutor, Ms Fatou Bensouda, should immediately open a preliminary examination of the situation in Burundi, which is state party to the ICC” he added.

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The evidence gathered by FIDH and ITEKA establishes that the Tustis are particularly targeted by the violence and due to  their ethnicity. They are more targeted during arrests, are subject to ethnic insults from security forces and systematically tortured during detention. The public and private messages of members of the ruling party CNDD-FDD or regime supporters are referring to Tutsis more and more openly as “enemies, “terrorists” and “genocidal insurrection”.2 Since the assassination on 22 March 2016, of Lieutenant-colonel Darius Ikurakure3, pillar of Burundi’s repressive system, targeted killings of soldiers belonging to the former Burundian Armed Forces – FAB (mainly composed of Tutsis) – have also increased.

According to information gathered by FIDH and ITEKA, more than 10 former Burundian army soldiers have been killed by unidentified men since the beginning of March. These elements are part of a larger context marked by an increasingly ethnic discourse by Burundian authorities and their supporters. The day before the funeral of the Lieutenant-Colonel Darius Ikurakure, messages were circulated on social media, including the following: “Dear HUTUS, wake up! Tomorrow we will bury another hero of the anti-Tutsi struggle, his excellency Lieutenant General Darius Ikurakure. Hutu officers and civilians will attend to thank him for his work. Come in number, and be careful and remember that he hero must not die alone, za mujeri sindumja muzincunge bibaye ngombwa mukore. Delende is Mike [watch those emaciated dogs, I am not a slave, if you must: work]. A word to the wise is enough! KORA [work]” circulated on social media. The term to “work” ,was used in Rwanda by the Hutu genocidal government to call upon the elimination of Tutsis. It was also used on 1 November 2015, by Burundian Senate President, Révérien Ndikuriyo, in front of his supporters and several Imbunerakure: “if you hear the signal with an order that it must end, emotions and tears will have no place !” and added “you must spray, you must exterminate those people (…) Wait for the day when we will say “work.”, you will see the difference!”. The conversation was not supposed to be recorded.

Burundian security forces involved in the repression are themselves made up of men who know how to execute orders and can “get things done,”  according to a source close to the security services. “They are over 95% Hutus” adds the source. About ten units, among which the NIS, the Riot Squad (BAE), the Special Battalion for Institution Protection (BSPI), the Institution Protection Agency (API), the Combat Engineering Battalion (BGC), the Mobile Group for Rapid Intervention (GMIR) and Special Research Police(PSR), are led by those loyal to the regime directly linked through parallel command chains, to the presidency, including the civilian cabinet. Those persons, responsible for the repression, could be incriminated for the crimes perpetrated directly by them or under their authority and should be subjected to criminal prosecution and individual sanctions by international institutions and influential diplomatic bodies.

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“FIDH and ITEKA are very concerned about the ethnic nature of the repression in recent months, the authoritarian rhetoric and the use of preventive violence by authorities and their supporters. This reminds of the anti-Hutu genocidal massacres of the last  40 years. The authorities consider that they are the only representatives of the people and refer any kind of political, ethnic and social pluralism to a “them” against “us”, deadly for the country. We solemnly call upon Burundian authorities to uphold the Arusha Agreement by ending the repression, freeing the thousands of political detainees, and take part in an honest dialogue with the opposition and the independent civil society,” urged Anschaire Nikoyagiza, ITEKA President.

In response to the abuses of the regime, many men are joining the ranks of rebel armed groups (Red Tabara and FOREBU). These groups have carried out targeted attacks and killings against representatives of CNDD-FDD, members of law enforcement and Imbonerakure in Bujumbura and in the provinces, which have resulted in civilian casualties.. Indiscriminate attacks against civilians may amount to war crimes and   perpetrators must face justice.

Moreover, the documentation of these violations has become extremely dangerous. Human rights defenders, opponents and independent journalists still in Burundi are living mostly underground. They are followed and receive death threats. Almost every civil society leader, journalists and opposition member have   been forced to flee the country and those who remain, leaders or activists, continue to be subjected to threats or even attacks by men suspected of acting on the behalf of the regime, especially the Imbonerakure.

The disappearance of Marie-Claudette Kwizera, ITEKA treasurer, since her arrest by NIS elements on 10 December 2015 illustrates a worrying phenomenon that would concern hundreds of cases. Some sources report at least 800 people have been foricbly disappeared. The documentation of these disappearances is more and more difficult because of the increase of illegal detention facilities. The Burundian authorities and the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (CNIDH), seized by FIDH on the case of Marie-Claudette Kwizera and other cases of enforced disappearances, were unable to provide explanations or information on the fate of these people who are neither refugees nor officially detained.

“Given the risk of a new civil war and the perpetration of mass crimes, our organisations urge the international community to deploy an international police force in the country (of at least 500 officers) to ensure the protection of civilians and facilitate the holding of an inclusive political dialogue as soon as possible. Furthermore, we call on the Security Council to mandate an independent international commission to investigate the crimes perpetrated since April 2015, ” said Dismas Kitenge, FIDH Vice President.

On 1 April 2016, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 2279 urging all parties to the crisis to agree on a timetable for negotiations. It also calls on the UN Secretary-General, to present by 15 April  to the Security Council “options” for the deployment of an international police force. In view of the security and human rights situation prevailing in the country, FIDH and ITEKA urge the UN to ensure that this task force has the mandate and the means to play a stabilizing, deterrent and monitoring role and to intervene in the event of the commission serious human rights violations.

Press Release – Burundi: Government Investigations Ignore State Abuses (13.04.2016)

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Independent International Inquiry Needed

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 13, 2016 –  The findings of a Burundian commission of inquiry into allegations of extrajudicial executions by members of the security forces on December 11, 2015, in the capital, Bujumbura, are misleading and biased, Human Rights Watch said today. This is one of several official inquiries that have failed to properly investigate security force abuses or hold those responsible to account.
The inquiry focused on reports of abuses during the most deadly operation by the Burundian security forces since the country’s crisis began in April. Human Rights Watch found that police and military shot dead scores of people in Nyakabiga and Musaga neighborhoods, apparently in retaliation for opposition attacks on four military installations, and for heavy shooting at security forces by gunmen in these neighborhoods.

“This is the latest in a series of commissions of inquiry in Burundi that has ignored widespread abuses by the security forces,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “These inquiries have covered up state abuses and have not led to justice.”

The Prosecutor General, Valentin Bagorikunda, set up an inquiry into the December 11 events on December 17, 2015. Summarizing the inquiry’s main conclusions on March 10, 2016, he did not mention killings or abuses of Bujumbura residents by the security forces. He claimed that those killed on December 11 were armed “combatants” wearing police or military uniforms.

Since 2010, there have been at least seven commissions of inquiry into allegations of killings and other abuses. Most of them have denied or downplayed serious abuses by state agents.

Human Rights Watch documented the killings of December 11 in detail and found no indications that the victims had participated in the attacks on the military installations. Some victims were found lying side by side, face down, and appeared to have been shot in the back or the head. Others survived with serious injuries. The security forces also carried out large-scale arbitrary arrests in both neighborhoods.

In March, two United Nations special rapporteurs and one from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights visited Burundi to investigate human rights abuses at the request of the UN Human Rights Council. They plan to return in June and send a small team of human rights monitors to be based in the country.

Presenting their interim report to the Human Rights Council on March 22, Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said: “The overt violence of last year seems to have subsided. At the same time covert violence, for example, in the form of disappearances, seems to have increased… There are some in [the Burundian] government who seem to be open to change. Others, however, are in denial anything is wrong.”

Given the Burundian justice system’s inability or unwillingness to conduct credible and thorough investigations, an independent, international commission of inquiry is needed to establish the truth about the grave abuses in Burundi in the past year and support the efforts of the special rapporteurs, Human Rights Watch said.

An international commission with expertise in criminal and forensic investigations would conduct in-depth inquiries with a view to establishing individual responsibility for the most serious crimes. It would probe deeper into these crimes, complementing the work of UN and African Union human rights observers in Burundi as well as the Human Rights Council’s initiatives.

Burundian government officials have repeatedly claimed there is peace and security throughout the country, despite the fact that several hundred people have been killed over the past year and many others arbitrarily arrested, tortured or disappeared. The minister of human rights, social affairs and gender, Martin Nivyabandi, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 22 that, “the situation is normalizing” and that, “Burundi today couldn’t be a land where impunity reigns.”

“Contrary to the minister’s statement, impunity has been at the heart of Burundi’s political system for years and is one of the principal causes of the current human rights crisis,” Bekele said.

Serious new abuses were reported throughout March and early April. Scores of people have been arrested and others taken away to unknown destinations by the police or intelligence services. Ruling party officials, police, and members of the ruling party youth league known as Imbonerakure arrested at least 16 members of the opposition party National Liberation Forces (FNL) at a bar in Kirundo province on March 12. The police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, claimed they were conducting a political meeting without authorization.

Armed opposition groups have also been responsible for abuses. Unidentified men killed two ruling party officials in Bururi and Makamba provinces on March 15.

Since early 2016, the intelligence services have intensified surveillance of human rights activists, journalists, and other perceived critics, making it even more difficult to document and expose abuses and putting the few activists who remain at even greater risk.

Tensions were heightened on March 22, after an unidentified gunman shot dead Lt. Col. Darius Ikurakure, a military commander reportedly involved in many abuses, at the army headquarters in Bujumbura. Later that day, residents of Bujumbura reported that security forces arrested several people. That night, another military officer, Major Didier Muhimpundu, was killed in Bujumbura. An opposition group, the Republican Forces of Burundi (Forces républicaines du Burundi, FOREBU), later claimed responsibility for Ikurakure’s death.

“The government’s claims that Burundi is calm and that security is improving aren’t true,” Bekele said. “The recent killing of the military officials has heightened tensions, and many people are being arrested or simply go missing.”

President Pierre Nkurunziza (CNDD-FDD) is elected for the third term in Burundi and the EAC Election Observer Mission – Preliminary Statement on the Election

Burundi Election result 2015

 

Today the results came from the Electoral Commission in Burundi wasn’t unexpected. We all knew that would happen. It’s not really much to say. We all expected it and there wasn’t really much news value in that. Other than the Government of Burundi will go into an uncertain future. With People of Burundi will not recognizing that Pierre Nkurunzia is again for the third time president of the Country. The president can use the High Court judgement, but that doesn’t stop the foreign pressure or local dissidence. The situation will be fragmented and sore wound after the violence want give more legitimacy to the President of Burundi. EAC had Election Observation Mission on the Election Day and has followed the election apparently. While the African Union and European Union suspended their missions and observers to it. So that they wanted to show that they didn’t’ want legitimacy to the actions of the president. There been oppressive actions towards the opposition in the country after the Coup d’état in the country. I think that the Preliminary Statement of the Election is worthy for everybody who follow Burundi show read it. Enjoy. Peace.

The East African Community deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the Republic of Burundi for the 21 July 2015 Presidential Election. Hon. Abubakar Zein, a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), was the Head of the Mission and has released the Preliminary Statement of the Mission as below:

The East African Community Election Observation Mission to the Presidential Election of 21 July 2015 in the Republic of Burundi – PRELIMINARY STATEMENT, Bujumbura, 23 July 2015-

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. In response to the invitation by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Burundi (CENI); the Standing Decision of the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers to observe elections in all EAC Partner States and the Decision of the 3rd EAC Emergency Summit on Burundi of 6 July 2015, the EAC deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the Republic of Burundi for the 21 July 2015 Presidential Election.
  1. The EAC EOM was led by Hon. Abubakar Zein, a Member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and comprised 25 members drawn from the EALA, National Electoral Management Bodies, National Human Rights Commissions, Ministries of EAC Affairs, and Civil Society Organizations from four EAC Partner States namely the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda. The Mission deployed seven teams to observe the polling and counting processes in Bujumbura, Gitega, Ngozi, Kirundo, Mwaro, Muramvya, Karuzi, Muyinga, Rumonge, Bururi and Makamba Provinces.
  1. The EAC has followed the Burundi electoral process since January 2015 through consultative sessions by the EAC Eminent Persons (PEP), Pre-Election Assessment Mission (PEMi), the EAC Council of Ministers and EAC Emergency Summits. Through these initiatives, the EAC, while appreciating the state of affairs, identified challenges facing the electoral process and made appropriate recommendations. The Mission’s findings are also informed by the report of the aforementioned initiatives.
  1. This statement contains preliminary findings, recommendations and conclusions made by the Mission based on independent observation, interaction with electoral stakeholders including the CENI, political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies, and the media, among others. As the electoral process is still ongoing, this statement limits itself to the assessment made up to the polling and results counting processes. In due course, the Mission will avail a more detailed final report on the electoral process in Burundi through the EAC policy organs.
  1. PRELIMINARY FINDINGS

General Political Context

  1. The political context of the 2015 presidential election has been characterized by the controversy surrounding the incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza’s candidature for a third term. This was viewed by some actors as a violation of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of 2000 and the Constitution 2005 of Burundi. Other actors maintained that the first term did not count thus, the incumbent qualifies to vie in the 2015 presidential election. The incumbent’s nomination on 25 April 2015 sparked demonstrations in Bujumbura and some parts of the country which turned violent.
  1. The confirmation of the incumbent’s candidature by the Constitutional Court resulted in the deterioration of security situation and the prevailing political impasse in the country. There were persistent violent protests and an attempted coup d’état on 13 May 2015 which resulted in scores of deaths and deterioration of the human rights situation in the country. From the foregoing background, there was an influx of refugees estimated to be around 150,000, some of whom were registered voters, to neighboring countries including the Republic of Rwanda, the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  1. Successive dialogues mediated by the Joint International Facilitation Team comprising the EAC, African Union, United Nations and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) were convened between Government, opposition representatives and other stakeholders in order to resolve the political stalemate. There were three successive EAC Emergency Summits on the situation in Burundi, and subsequent appointment of President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda to facilitate a High Level Political Dialogue in a bid to resolve the political stalemate. The Mission noted that the Political Dialogue was postponed on the eve of the election without consensus.
  1. The presidential election which was initially scheduled to take place on 26 June 2015 was postponed to 15 July 2015 following a request by the EAC 2nd Emergency Summit and eventually to 21 July 2015. The 3rd EAC Emergency Summit requested for a delay until 30 July 2015 in order to allow for dialogue and consensus building on contentious issues among all the stakeholders.
  1. Lack of political consensus on key issues on the electoral process during the High Level Dialogue including the election calendar, insecurity, the candidature of the incumbent president, return of refugees, media freedoms and civil liberties, perpetuated uncertainty and fear. This state of affairs contributed to some opposition candidates withdrawing from the presidential race.

Legal and Institutional Framework

  1. The 2015 presidential election is governed by the Constitution 2005 and a set of laws regulations and decrees. The Constitution provides for fundamental rights and freedoms which are important for the participation of citizens in the electoral process. Article 8 of the Constitution provides for election by equal and universal suffrage. The suffrage is also extended to the citizens in diaspora thereby guaranteeing their enfranchisement.
  1. Whilst the framework is adequate for the conduct of democratic elections in Burundi, there have been violations of the fundamental civil and political rights that limited citizen participation in the electoral process. For instance, the attempted coup d’état heightened the closure of several private media outlets thereby impacting on the rights to freedom of expression. Similarly, this denied the citizens an alternative source of information that is critical in making an informed choice in the election.
  1. The amendment of the Electoral Code 2014, introduced the use of a single ballot paper that replaced the multiple ballot system. The Mission is of the opinion that this reform is a positive measure as it is able to contribute to enhancing the secrecy of the ballot as well as the overall cost of administration of elections but needed to be accompanied by adequate voter education.
  1. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) is the election management body in Burundi comprising five commissioners who are appointed by the President subject to approval of the National Assembly. While CENI enjoys constitutional independence, it does not enjoy the confidence of a substantial proportion of stakeholders. The desertion of the Vice President and one Commissioner as well as withdrawal of members of the Catholic Church from the CENI structures in May 2015 impacted on public’s perception on the credibility of CENI.
  1. The Constitutional Court has the jurisdiction to arbitrate election disputes for Presidential and legislative elections in Burundi. It is also tasked with announcement of final election results for presidential election. While the Court constitutionally enjoys independence and impartiality, the desertion of the Vice President of the Court impacted on public’s perception on the credibility of the Court.

Voter Registration and Voters’ Roll

  1. There were a total of 3,849,728 registered voters for the 2015 elections. The first voter registration exercise was conducted between November and December 2014. The CENI made efforts to enfranchise more voters in March 2015 through a partial voter registration upon the request of political parties and also allowed for inspection of the voters’ roll by the parties.
  1. The Mission noted that the two-step voter registration process was operationally cumbersome. The registrants were issued with a récépissé (waiting slip) and were later to be issued with a voter’s card. The two-step process affected the distribution of the voter cards as the cards had not been distributed by 26 May 2015, being the initial date of parliamentary and communal elections before the postponement of polls.

Election Campaign

  1. All political parties and candidates should be allowed to campaign freely as per the law and with due regard to expression of fundamental freedoms of association, assembly and speech in line with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. According to the Electoral Code, the election campaign lasts for 14 days.
  1. The campaign environment was generally tense and characterized by fear and uncertainty. The political stalemate surrounding the candidature of the incumbent president, concerns relating to the security of candidates and their supporters and the subsequent postponement of polls impacted the electoral process and implementation of the campaign calendar.
  1. Some candidates to the presidential election participated in the political dialogue aimed at resolving the political stalemate, a process that took place during the campaign period. This impacted on the candidates’ ability to solicit for votes and for the voters to make informed decisions on leaders of their choice. This uncertainty was further accentuated by the reported withdrawal of some candidates from the presidential race, a few days before the polls.

Media environment

  1. An already constrained media in a shrinking democratic space was further affected by the attempted coup d état. The media environment during the electoral process was affected by the ongoing political stalemate. During the period of the failed coup d’état, five private media outlets were destroyed on 13 and 14 May 2015, namely, Radio and Television REMA, Radio and Television Renaissance, Radio Isanganiro, Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), and Radio Sans Frontiere Bonesha FM. The limited access to alternative sources of information apart from the State broadcaster, especially during the electioneering period, limited space for pluralistic ideas and impacted upon the playing field among political competitors. This in turn constrained the options for voters to be adequately informed on the electoral process and make informed choices.

Security Environment

  1. The Presidential election in Burundi was held against a backdrop of a tense and violent pre-election period. April to June 2015 witnessed some of the most violent incidents, including a failed coup d’état. Arising from the observed pattern of behaviour over the period, and following a risk assessment mapping, it was noted that the Provinces of Cibitoke, Bubanza and Kayanza had experienced unprecedented violence over the three weeks preceding the presidential polls.
  1. On the eve of the polls, there were incidents of shooting, grenade attack and subsequent reports of three deaths in Bujumbura which heightened fear among the population. It was also noted that within Bujumbura city, the following areas were restive with unpredictable security environment: Cibitoke, Mutakura, Buterere, Ngagara, Jabe, Nyakabiga, Kanyosha and Musaga. The Mission did not deploy observers in the above captioned regions as a result of the unpredictable security environment. However, there was relative calm in other parts of the country.

Civic and Voter Education

  1. The conduct of civic and voter education had challenges and was exacerbated by insufficient funding. The withdrawal of funding by development partners impacted on the voter education which led to reprioritization of resources by the Government of Burundi. In this regard, the Mission noted that voter education initiatives were minimal despite CENI having introduced a single ballot paper of which voters needed to be adequately educated.

Polling and Counting Processes

  1. The EAC observers visited a total of 80 polling stations. The polling process was generally calm and peaceful. Whereas most stations opened on time, some opened later than the stipulated time of 6:00am. In some stations, voting had not started as late as 10.00 am. In Bujumbura, anxiety over insecurity and late arrival of election materials impacted on the timely opening of the polls.
  1. In most polling stations visited, polling personnel were present and election materials were in adequate quantity. The polling personnel generally managed the polling process in a professional manner. Apart from the CNDD-FDD party agents who were present in all stations visited by the EAC Observers, there was a notable absence of party agents of most opposition political parties despite the obligatory requirement by Electoral Code.
  1. Beside the EAC observers, the Mission noted the presence of domestic observers and international observers from the MENUB, ICGLR, as well as embassies of Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. Most polling stations closed at 4pm as stipulated in the Electoral Code. The counting process took place immediately after the closure of the polls and registered no incident in all polling stations visited by EAC observers.
  1. The EAC observers noted that the voter turnout was generally ranged from low to average in most polling stations visited.    

PRELIMINARY RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Based on the above findings, the EAC Election Observation Mission to the 21 July 2015 presidential election makes the following recommendations:  

a) To All National Stakeholders: 

Pursue an all-inclusive and honest dialogue in order to find a sustainable solution to the political impasse prevailing in Burundi.

b) To the Government: Ensure that peace and security is guaranteed for all citizens of Burundi; Undertake measures to ensure that law and order is maintained in a manner that uphold respect for human rights;

iii. Ensure that there is adequate funding for the conduct of elections;

– Undertake measures to ensure safe return and reintegration of refugees in Burundi;

– Undertake capacity building measures to strengthen and enhance the efficiency of governance institutions to promote sustainable democratic development;

– Enhance the capacity of security agencies in respecting the fundamental human rights of the citizens while maintaining law order;

vii. Undertake measures to remove restrictions on media freedom and allow private media.

c) To Parliament:

– Pursue legal and institutional reforms aimed at safeguarding the independence of the CENI and the Judiciary;

– Delink the registration of political parties from the Ministry of Interior.

d) To CENI: 

– Consider merging of voter registration and issuance of voters cards in order to enhance operational efficiency and minimize the challenges experienced in the 2015 electoral process;

– Undertake voter education in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to enhance public awareness and participation in electoral processes.

e) To the East African Community: 

Continue engagement with all stakeholders to find a sustainable solution to the prevailing political impasse in the country.

 f) To the International Community: 

Sustain engagement with the Government and all national stakeholders in order to address the prevailing political, social and economic challenges in the country.

CONCLUSION: 

The people of Burundi have enjoyed relative peace since the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of 2000, which constitutes the bedrock for building democracy, sustainable peace and development in the country. The Mission notes that the electoral period has been characterised by anxiety and uncertainty. The Mission notes with concern that successive efforts to build consensus through inclusive dialogue among Burundi stakeholders have not been successful.

  1. The Mission noted that there was relative peace on the polling day. However, the principle of choice was generally hampered by among others, insecurity ( a general feeling of fear and despondency in some parts of the country), confinement of democratic space, civil liberties including freedom of speech, assembly, media, campaigning and the boycott by opposition parties.
  1. The electoral process fell short of the principles and standards for holding free, fair, peaceful, transparent and credible elections as stipulated in various international, continental as well as the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation.
  1. The EAC Observation Mission urges all stakeholders to maintain calm and to re-engage in candid and inclusive dialogue in order to find sustainable solution to the political impasse prevailing in Burundi.
  1. The Mission would like to thank and extend its profound gratitude to the people and the Government of Burundi, CENI and MENUB for their cooperation during the mission.

Issued at Royal Palace Hotel, Bujumbura this 23 July 2015

Signed by

…………………………………………

Hon. Zein Abubakar

Head of Mission

WikiLeaks Series – Pre-2010 General Election in Burundi: Part Four

This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part IV. Enjoy!

Radjabu and UPD history:

“Hussein Radjabu fought in the bush with President Pierre Nkurunziza and Chief of Intelligence Adolphe Nshimirimana, reportedly appointing them to the roles in the CNDD-FDD that they parlayed into their current positions. In 2002, he created the UPD-Zigamibanga as a strategic alternative when, before beginning demobilization, the CNDD-FDD was still negotiating political party registration” (…) “In February 2007, the CNDD-FDD party congress ousted Radjabu, a move most observers believe was to strengthen Nkurunziza’s control of the party. Police arrested Radjabu and a group of his supporters in April 2007, charging them with “threatening state security.” In April 2008, Radjabu was found guilty and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment (ref A); subsequent appeals have been denied. After the trial, Radjabu’s lawyer, Prosper Niyoyankana, claimed the trial did not proceed according to the rule of law, but according to the goals of the ruling party. He stated, “In this case, the judges are tools for the ruling party like a pen in the hands of a writer.” (…) “The UPD’s president is Radjabu’s cousin Mohamed Feruzi, but Radjabu is openly acknowledged as the party’s true leader. The UPD’s representative in Makamba province, Egide Ndayizeye, referred to Radjabu as the party’s “advisor,” informing PolOff during a June 24 meeting that “Father Radjabu” remains very active from jail” (…) “Nevertheless, in the past Radjabu has reportedly courted and received monetary support from donors in Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Sudan and Iraq” (…) “Egide Ndayizeye claims people are turning from the CNDD-FDD because of the party’s failure to fulfill its promises and to the UPD because the party promises development, peace and reconciliation. Ndayizeye stated that since the UPD’s July 2008 start in Makamba province, the party’s popularity has grown to over 80% in Nyanza-Lac and 70% in Makamba, the province’s two largest cities. Nyanza-Lac is also the fourth-largest city in Burundi” (…) “Sources indicate that Radjabu has never forgiven his former bushmates and colleagues for his expulsion and cares more that Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD falls from power than that UPD achieves any significant electoral victories for itself” (…) “Radjabu’s 13-year sentence was harsher than most observers expected, leading to speculation that President Nkurunziza’s administration used its influence to sideline and silence Radjabu (ref A) before the 2010 election process moves into high gear” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

FBI investigated the murder on Manirumva:

“Government of Burundi in investigating the murder of anti-corruption NGO OLUCOME’s vice president and chief investigator, Ernest Manirumva (ref A); the GoB accepted the offer April 21. In an April 28 meeting with Special Agent Horton and the RSO, however, Stanislas Nimpagaritse, the president of the Independent Commission assigned to investigate the case, refused to show Horton the evidence accumulated to that point, stating that he had no orders to do so” (…) “Horton and the RSO met with 1st Vice-President Yves Sahinguvu on April 29 to clarify the FBI,s role” (…) “he could to ensure that the FBI was given complete access to all evidence and received full cooperation from the Commission. He underscored the GoB,s commitment to conducting a thorough, transparent investigation, fully aided and supported by the FBI, to demonstrate that the process is genuine” (…) “The Manirumva murder has caused serious concern among the international and NGO communities, and inspired a strong sense in this conspiracy-prone nation that the government or some elements thereof are behind it. Manirumva was known to be investigating cases involving corruption at high levels among the police, intelligence services, Finance Ministry and others. Consequently, the news that the GoB had accepted the offer of FBI assistance was greeted with significant relief and hope that the real perpetrators and their masters – whoever they are – will be brought to justice” (…) “The 1st Vice President, who discussed the FBI assistance offer with President Nkurunziza, seems genuinely committed to pursuing the case wherever it leads. He clearly understood that an FBI report stating that the GoB was uncooperative in the investigation would feed the conspiracy theorists and convince the public that the government was indeed behind the assassination” (…) “Horton discovered that the victim,s cell phone records stopped at 19:00 the day of his murder, although it is believed that the murder occurred sometime after 23:00. When asked why the records did not cover the hours immediately surrounding the murder, police dismissed the records gap and stated without further explanation that the later records were somehow more difficult to obtain, and that the police were still waiting on the phone company to deliver them. One witness, however, claims that he saw a man in a police uniform at the victim,s home make a phone call to the victim,s phone well after 19:00. Similarly, the president of the Commission summarily dismissed a report from an eyewitness stating that he saw eight men, three wearing police uniforms, in the victim,s house the night of the murder. However, two informants currently external to the police investigation corroborate this story, and say that they believe the powerful intelligence service and police were involved” (…) “President Nkurunziza is using the FBI,s arms-length investigation to rid himself of the now too-powerful head of internal security Adolphe Nshimirimana (who may well be implicated); or whether the President and 1st VP genuinely want to find the murderers; the FBI is distinct value added to this process” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

Human Rights worker in the country:

“Eighty UN human rights employees work for the two administratively different but operationally seamless human rights agencies in Burundi. In addition to the 40 employees based at the headquarters in Bujumbura, 40 employees work in one of five field offices based in the interior of the country” (…) “The UN has done a great job establishing effective communication with GOB security forces. Each week, in coordination with civil society, the UN leads a meeting with police, intelligence, and military representatives to discuss and follow up on investigations and alleged human rights violations by security forces” (…) “The UN is doing extensive rehabilitation of Burundi’s judicial infrastructure throughout the country, and is providing logistical and financial assistance to the judicial branch to help expedite the overwhelming backlog of cases facing the court system. Thousands of cases remain to be handled, but thousands more have already been processed” (…) “Critics in civil society argue that the integration of the OHCHR into BINUB has prevented the UN from being more outspoken in criticizing GOB actions, as BINUB tries to limit its political exposure. For example, BINUB is part of a group of international actors negotiating the provisions of a cease-fire agreement between Burundi’s last rebel group, the FNL, and the GOB. According to one civil society critic, in order for the UN to maintain its “neutrality” in the negotiations, it cannot be overcritical of the government, lest it find itself on the wrong side of the GOB and no longer an effective negotiator” (…) “high-ranking Hutu member of President Nkurunziza’s staff told the director of UN human rights operations in Burundi that the UN and its agenda is manipulated by its mostly Tutsi local staff and therefore not reliable. Opposition parties’ representatives also told Embassy officials in January that even if UN human rights criticisms complement their own condemnations of the ruling party, it is difficult to assess if the UN has a meaningful impact” (Wikileaks, 2009).

Electoral code:

“Minister Nduwimana’s proposal has the electoral process beginning with presidential elections and calls for multiple ballots – one for each candidate” (…) “In the 2005 elections a separate color-coded ballot was used for each candidate, which the CNDD-FDD claimed helped illiterate voters select their preferred candidates. In those elections, CNDD-FDD local leaders pressed voters to return their unused ballots, thus revealing their votes” (…) “Opposition party leaders have often predicted that the CNDD-FDD would push for presidential elections first, saying that President Nkurunziza is more popular than his party and CNDD-FDD candidates in subsequent local elections would gain momentum from Nkurunziza’s popularity. CNDD party president Leonard Nyangoma and FRODEBU spokesperson Pancrase Cimpaye informed Embassy officials on July 16 that the GoB’s proposed Electoral Code amendments, in addition to violating the spirit of the consensus-building project, also violate Burundi’s constitution” (…)”pposition party leaders have asked the international community to weigh in with the GoB and encourage it to put the consensus draft to the parliament. Some political party representatives, including FRODEBU General Secretary Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, said to EmbOff July 16 that everything should be done to prevent the government’s draft from going before parliament because, he asserted, it will cause political deadlock” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

The elected individuals of the National Independent Electoral Commission:

“The Burundian Senate and National Assembly confirmed February 13 President Nkurunziza’s nomination of five individuals to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), voting 41-5 and 108-4 in favor, respectively” (…) “President Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, a Hutu with no party affiliation, who once served as Minister of Communication under ex-President Buyoya but has been involved with civil society since 2006” (…) “Vice-President Marguerite Bukuru, a Tutsi with no party affiliation, who served in several Ministerial positions in the early 90s” (…) “Prosper Ntahogwamiye, a Hutu, who is the Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Solidarity and a member of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) political party” (…) “Julius Bucumi, a Hutu, who is a member of the Judges Council of the Supreme Court and of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party” (…) “Adelaide Ndayirorere, a Tutsi, who is a senior staff member at the Central Bank and a member of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) political party” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

EAC Secretariat Deputy Secretary General Beatrice Kiraso thoughts on the Elections 2010:

“shared concerns about the lack of international oversight of Burundi’s peace process and agreed on the need to establish a facilitation mechanism should things go awry in Burundi’s elections process” (…) “Per Kiraso, the electoral support mission found that Burundi’s CENI has the confidence of the population, but is lacking the capacity to coordinate all election observer activities” (…) “Kiraso reported that the EAC is tentatively planning to send a team of six to eight eminent persons to Burundi as long-term observers beginning in February 2010. In the second phase of election monitoring, the EAC proposes to send two observers to each province one month before Burundi’s May elections” (…) “Kiraso, who led the EAC mission, noted with disappointment the electoral support mission’s report had not yet been published. She reported that the November Council of Ministers insisted that the EAC’s report be endorsed by the Burundian government before publication. Tanzania, she confided, was the most opposed to publishing the report, even questioning the authority for EAC’s electoral support mission. She opined that Tanzania is concerned that the EAC is moving too fast towards regional integration. Uganda may also be nervous that a similar monitoring process might be used in its 2011 elections” (…) “Kiraso is keenly aware that the outcome of Burundi’s elections, whether positive or negative, will have regional ramifications: “The interest of the EAC is to ensure that peace and stability return permanently to the Republic of Burundi, otherwise there will be a spill-over effect on the rest of the region.” (WikiLeaks, 2010).

Afterthought:

I hope you have enjoyed the series and that it has given you some new knowledge on Burundi. It gave me a lot. Peace.

Reference:

WikiLeaks – ‘MINISTER OF INTERIOR PLAYS WITH ELECTORAL CODE’ (17.07.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA339_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RADJABU’S UPD PARTY GAINING GROUND’ (27.06.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA356_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘AU SUMMIT — S/A WOLPE ENGAGES EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ON BURUNDI ELECTIONS’ (18.02.2010) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10ADDISABABA332_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI LAWMAKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR ELECTORAL COMMISSION’ (18.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA83_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI: UN FIELD COVERAGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ (03.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA60_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘FBI INVESTIGATES MANIRUMVA MURDER’ (06.05.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA222_a.html

WikiLeaks Series – Pre-2010 General Election in Burundi: Part Two

This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part II. Enjoy!

Rebellion in 2007:

“Burundi,s Minister of the Interior, Major General Evariste Ndayishimiye, is investigating reports that former CNDD-FDD party president, Hussein Radjabu, is organizing an armed rebellion against President Pierre Nkurunziza,s government. In Bubanza province, Burundian security forces have already arrested a number of people and seized their weapons in response to accusations of local insurrection” (…) “On April 24, African Public Radio announced the existence of a three hour recording of a Radjabu speech given to representatives of CNDD-FDD,s demobilized soldiers, in which he expressed his desire to start an armed rebellion” (…) “Radjabu,s address detailed plans to install five “Kagabos”, or deputy wise men, in various collines (villages) throughout Burundi. The goal of the Kagabos is to promulgate Radjabu,s plans amongst the people, door to door, and to recruit followers who will “save the CNDD-FDD party from those who are destroying it.” Radjabu characterized the Tutsi CNDD-FDD members as “opportunists” with no party conviction, charging that they lied to Nkurunziza,s government with the intent to destroy the ruling party” (…) “In particular, four months ago, the governor of Karuzi informed officials that Radjabu had authorized a weapons cache within his district. At a CNDD-FDD party meeting in Bujumbura a week later, responding to direct questioning from Radjabu in front of a stadium audience, the governor recanted his earlier statements” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

Aftermath after rebellion of 2007:

“On April 26, former CNDD-FDD party president Hussein Radjabu is appearing for the second time before Burundi,s Prosecutor General in response to a warrant issued against him on April 25” (…) “Radjabu,s appearance before the Prosecutor General is being conducted with very heavy security. The national police are refusing all vehicles, including Radjabu,s convoy, access to the Prosecutor’s compound” (…) “The Burundi national police force has implemented additional security measures throughout Bujumbura to discourage any disruption of national security. A large 24 hour police presence has been established outside of Radjabu,s residence” (…) “On April 24, African Public Radio announced the existence of a three hour recording of a speech by Radjabu to representatives of CNDD-FDD,s demobilized soldiers expressing his desire to start an armed rebellion” (…) “As a current member of Burundi,s National Assembly, Radjabu is entitled to immunity from arrest and prosecution. Radjabu,s earlier release from the prosecutor,s office without substantive action may signal the government,s desire to ensure that all legal obstacles have been removed before Radjabu,s arrest. It is believed but unconfirmed that the Prosecutor General has initiated procedures for requesting Radjabu,s immunity to be lifted” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

CNDD-FDD stalemate peace talks:

“a failure by Burundi,s President Nkurunziza and his ruling CNDD-FDD party to resolve this political impasse would virtually demolish their ability to govern effectively and give impetus to the eddying whispers of possible impeachment proceedings” (…) “Burundi,s election of 2005 resulted in a decisive win for the CNDD-FDD party and its leaders, Burundi,s new President Pierre Nkurunziza and party head, Hussein Radjabu. The ruling government quickly came under fire from FRODEBU and UPRONA. Both loudly claimed that CNDD-FDD was exploiting its clear majority by ignoring the dictates of the Burundi constitution in doling out key ministerial positions, handing them to CNDD-FDD members rather than proportionally to members of other parties, in accordance with election results” (…) “In the wake of President Nkurunziza,s most recent cabinet appointments that again fail to accommodate the demands of the minority parties, there have been renewed calls for action to restore the political legitimacy of the government including, albeit tacitly, whispers of possible impeachment proceedings against the President” (…) “Ngendakumana claimed that FRODEBU is actively working to discredit Nkurunziza,s government, and actively seeking an alliance with the PALIPEHUTU-FNL to advance its political aims during Burundi,s next round of elections in 2010. The CNDD-FDD party head claims that FRODEBU is scared, that the recent success of Burundi,s Partner Roundtable and its potential to dramatically improve the lives of ordinary Burundians will only serve to strengthen President Nkurunziza and his ruling party” (…) “Ngendakumana accused FRODEBU of engineering the recent exodus of the PALIPEHUTU-FNL. Additionally, according to Ngendakumana, FRODEBU believes that CNDD-FDD,s success in the 2005 elections can be attributed, in part, to the existence of a military wing of the party” (…) “According to Ambassador Ngendakumana, the UPRONA party is persistently demanding greater representation at the highest levels of Nkurunziza,s government, despite having already garnered a disproportionate number (15) of high political positions” (…) “Complicating these issues further, some within UPRONA maintain that First Vice President Nduwimana is no longer a member of the party, since he earlier refused to resign his post in solidarity with UPRONA,s stand against Nkurunziza,s government” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

Onesime Nduwimana on the 2010 election:

“Nduwimana characterized the stalemate as primarily a constitutional tug-of-war within Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government and described the National Assembly as the battlefield” (…) “Nduwimana referred to the constitutional clause that affords the right of political parties to participate in the government, if they desire, provided they’ve received five percent of the vote in the 2005 elections” (…) “Nduwimana, the CEO of a Burundian insurance company, further elaborated on the political quagmire by explaining that the major opposition parties, the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) and Union for National Progress (UPRONA), are exploiting a perceived split in the ruling CNDD-FDD party and its inability to form a majority voting block in the National Assembly to pass legislation”

(WikiLeaks, 2007).

Afterthought:

If the rebellion wasn’t interesting information, then I don’t know what gives. And getting even more knowledge on the pre 2010-Election. There is more coming, peace!

Referance:

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI: TAPE REVEALS RADJABU PLANS FOR ARMED REBELLION’ (25.04.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA306_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI: RADJABU APPEARS BEFORE PROSECUTOR GENERAL AMIDST TIGHT SECURITY’ (26.04.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA309_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI’S CNDD-FDD PARTY SEEKS USG HELP IN POLITICAL STALEMATE’ (27.07.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA543_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘FORMER BURUNDI NATIONAL ASSEMBLY LEADER SPREADS BLAME FOR POLITICAL IMPASSE’ (16.08.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA575_a.html

 

WikiLeaks Series – Pre-2010 General Election in Burundi: Part One.

This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part I. Enjoy!

Government of Burundi’s starting message:

“Minister of Good Governance Venant Kamana characterized the legislative problems within the National Assembly as primarily a dispute over the constitutionality of Nkurunziza’s government. Kamana explained that there are two major points of contention between the government and the major opposition parties. According to Kamana, the opposition claims that they have constitutional rights to a proportion of government positions based on the election results of 2005” (…) “Nkurunziza construed their refusal to comply as a desire not to participate in the government and therefore formed a new cabinet independently. Kamana suggested that any further dispute about the constitutionality of the government be decided by the constitutional court and further warned that any attempt to claim that the government is unconstitutional and without authority would provoke public disorder” (…) “In light of the recent arrest of the former Central Bank Governor, Kamana did not understand FRODEBU’s claim that nothing was being done with respect to the Interpetrol. Kamana also disputed FRODEBU’s assertions that various cases of embezzlement have been ignored and said that cases of embezzlement have never been filed at the office of the Prosecutor General. Kamana acknowledged that the Muyinga case is currently in the hands of the military prosecutor who has current jurisdiction” (…) “Nkurunziza and his National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) loyalists are clearly going on the offensive by addressing their concerns and reasons for the economic and political stagnation directly to the people” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

Outside view of the CNDD-FDD:

“The leader of Burundi’s MRC party and member of the National Assembly, Epitace Bayaganakandi, shared his perceptions of the political impasse plaguing the Burundi government with the Ambassador on August 6” (…) “Bayaganakandi claimed that FRODEBU, UPRONA and the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party each have 2 wings consisting of those who actively seek cooperation and compromise with Nkurunziza’s government, and those who refuse to participate in the legislative process. He noted that certain factions of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA), the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU), and even the ruling CNDD-FDD party do not want to share in the blame and the responsibility of the problems plaguing Burundi today and are instead distancing themselves to protect their political agendas for the future” (…) “Bayaganakandi stated that his predominately Tutsi MRC party was less than 5 years old, originating during Burundi’s transitional period following the civil war. Bayaganakandi declared that the objective of his centrist MRC party was to be a catalyst for institutional change throughout Burundi’s political, economic and social spectrum. Unfortunately, he complained, since 2005, little or no change can be seen other than in the areas of security, education and health. Instead, Bayaganakandi points to corruption, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings and various financial scandals as the major contributions of Nkurunziza’s ruling government” (…) “In particular, in light of recent scandals and political failures, Bayaganakandi urged President Nkurunziza to take heed of the distinction between political positions and technical positions. Bayaganakandi explained that appointees to critical positions cannot be made out of loyalty without respect to their relative experience. He pointed to the naming of Isaac Bizimana, a former cashier for the CNDD-FDD party, as the Governor of the Central Bank and who is now in custody for possible misappropriation of funds in the recent Interpetrol scandal” (Wikipedia, 2007).

Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) party member and former Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye view:

“Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party intends to hold onto power well into the future and accused President Pierre Nkurunziza of progressively moving away from a government based on democratic values towards a military dictatorship more akin to the culture and past of the ruling CNDD-FDD party” (…) “Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye opined that the CNDD-FDD is unwilling to work with opposition parties and intends to hold onto power well into the future. The former president surmised that the CNDD-FDD is actively marginalizing all Hutu opposition as well as those parties predominantly representing the Tutsi minority” (…) “The FRODEBU leader lamented that the ruling CNDD-FDD party would rather reward good militants rather than using Burundi’s educated loyalists to help manage Nkurunziza’s government. He emphasized the need for a nation to have an army rather than having armies for political parties. Ndayizeye believes that Nkurunziza has eyes only for a military that will fight for the President and expressed his concern that Nkurunziza could become a dictator led by the military in much the same fashion as was detrimental to Burundi’s stability in the past” (…) “President Nkurunziza should respect Burundi’s constitution and the Arusha Peace accords upon which the constitution was founded. In addition to Nkurunziza’s departure from the constitution, the former president insisted that Nkurunziza refuses to commit to dialogue with other political factions and Nkurunziza’s action are running counter to national reconciliation, both significant priciples brought forth from the Arusha accords” (…) “Nahimana claimed that the CNDD-FDD party was rejecting the Arusha accords during the September 2006 ceasefire talks with the PALIPEHUTU-FNL and and only accepted the Arusha principles by force” (…) “Political observers have speculated that Ndayizeye, who is still a popular and influential figure in Burundi and who was jailed in 2006 by Nkurunziza on suspicions of plotting a coup, is seeking personal revenge against the current administration and the CNDD-FDD party, and may have his sights on the presidency once more” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

CNDD-FDD Party Leader Nyangoma is critical:

“Nyangoma, who returned to Burundi on July 15 after 10 months of temporary refuge in France, cited corruption, the lack of movement within the Parliament, and poverty as the major components to a growing ‘institutional crisis’. In offering a solution to the political quagmire, he emphasized the need for immediate dialogue between the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy – Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party and the major opposition parties” (…) “Nyangoma also suggests that the specter of war still plagues the population, strengthened by the lack of progress in the ceasefire process, and the abundance of weapons among the Burundi people. The situation is further aggravated by the inability of the government of Burundi (GOB) and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL to negotiate in good faith as dictated by the September 2006 ceasefire agreement” (…) “the CNDD party head suggested that various portions of Burundi’s constitution should be changed to improve the electoral process. He further hoped for the creation of laws that would govern the political opposition process, stating that it was necessary to have a credible opposition for an effective democracy” (…) “He proposed that an international commission, specialized in the investigation of economic crimes, should be put in place to delve into suspected improprieties by the current government since its inception. He compared his proposal to the recent effort by a similar commission that investigated the controversial sale of the presidential jet. Nyangoma stated that the GOB needs the trust of the international donor community and implied that Burundi’s financial and developmental partners had no confidence in believing that resources were going to the right places” (…) “Nyangoma also suggested that another international commission be created to shed light on all suspected crimes against humanity and human rights committed by the current administration, such as the extrajudicial killings in Muyinga and the arrest and prosecution of the suspected coup plotters in 2006. Noted for his staunch allegiance to a strong judicial process, Nyangoma questioned why Nkurunziza’s administration insists on separating justice from reconciliation. In the spirit of the Arusha peace accords, Nyangoma advocates the installation of a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the abuses of the past” (WikiLeaks, 2007).

Afterthought:

Hope you got some new knowledge. And to be continued!

Peace.

Referance:

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI’S GOVERNMENT TAKES THEIR MESSAGE ON THE ROAD’ (20.08.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA584_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI CENTRIST PARTY LEADER SEES PARTY DIVISIONS AS KEY TO POLITICAL IMPASSE’ (21.08.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA591_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI’S FORMER PRESIDENT WARNS OF A MILITARISTIC CNDD-FDD PARTY’ (13.08.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA571_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘CNDD PARTY LEADER NYANGOMA SPEAKS CRITICALLY OF BURUNDI’S GOVERNMENT’ (01.08.2007) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07BUJUMBURA550_a.html

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