Belgium regrets the lack of transparency of the process of the revision of the Constitution.
BRUSSELS, Belgium, May 24, 2018 – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders expresses strong concern following the referendum of 17th May on the revision of the Constitution of Burundi, the results of which were announced on Monday.
Both the majority and the opposition were eventually allowed to campaign during the official period. Belgium regrets however the lack of transparency of the process of the revision of the Constitution. This process took place in a climate of threats and intimidation symbolized by numerous arbitrary arrests of militants from the opposition, pressures on the population and grave violations of press freedom.
The revision of the Constitution may threaten the achievements of the Arusha process in terms of protection of ethnic and political minorities. It may also undermine the dialogue put in place by the mediation of the East African Community. With the risk that the current crisis could deepen.
Over the last few days, Didier Reynders raised the situation with many bilateral and multilateral partners, including the African Union and the United Nations. All are convinced that the only solution to the current crisis is an inclusive dialogue without prior conditions, and are therefore calling the authorities of Burundi to quickly show gestures of openness which would allow a reconciliation of all parts of society, and put Burundi on the track of democracy and of the rule of law.
If you ever where thinking that the Presidency of Pierre Nkurunziza was for the betterment of the Burundian people, you we’re terribly wrong. Now after the third term that he took for himself, counting the Arusha Peace Agreement and the Constitution. Today, the Imbonerakure and the army to intimidate and spread fear. To get the people to show up in masses to vote in favor of the President. This has been shown all over Burundi. That is the reason why the VOA and BBC was suspended during the campaigning and the referendum. The government didn’t want this out.
This is a government that want only the perfect news out. The CNDD-FDD don’t want the reality out. They want to look like perfect, like everyone is behind the President and his party. The whole state is eaten by the CNDD-FDD, the state is run by them and they are using the Imbonerakure, whose are more important than ever. They have gotten a bigger space in the Republic after the protest of 2015. When the people flee and more of the opposition leaders, and former leaders has been killed. If not like there are so many people whose been detained because they we’re against the referendum now.
This Referendum of 2018 isn’t to change the Constitution for the people, this is to sign off more terms for Nkurunziza and make it easier for him to rig the next elections. All of this is to secure him and his place. Make him the king and the rest is his peasants.
That is why this is the nail in coffin for the ideals of the Arusha Agreement of 2000 and the Constitution of 2005. Also, now after this the idea of continuing the East African Community mediation effort of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and H.E. Benjamin Mpaka. They should just give it up and stop it. The Inter-Burundian Dialogue has been flawed and controlled by the state, therefore, they have picked the times and stakeholders. It is just as they have been just buying time for Nkurunziza to change the Constitution in his favor. That is what is happening now. By any means necessary.
Nkurunziza are planning to rule for life, leave a legacy of blood and oppression. Pierre wants to be remembered for the toils and tyranny against his own citizens. That he did so to gain his own wealth, misuse public resource and create scarcity. You know that there is a dark side to the referendum, other than creating more terms for the President. Who already had the Constitutional Court in 2015, make a ruling in his favor, in such a way that he could run on the third term, when the President only could run twice. So laws hasn’t mattered to him in the past, so they will not now.
The Burundian population is his personal pawns, they are the ones that can be used and he can profit on. The people are the ones he needs to get personal profits, but not better their lives. Nkurunziza is now a soon a tyrant for life. He is not planning on leaving office. Pierre is planning to stay for life, use all tricks and consolidate all power within him. So that the everyone has to wait for his decrees and decisions.
Today, is just signifying it. All the way through the campaign period, that has campaigned for “no” to the referendum. They have been detained and harassed by Imbonerakura, this has been reported from districts all over the Republic. So it is not like the President hasn’t shown democratic values, but neither is this revision of the Constitution. It is made to secure him and seal his fate.
This is the end of the Arusha Agreement, the final nail in the coffin of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue. Why discuss peaceful transition and balance of power, when the President is taking it all already? There is nothing to give to the other parties and the real opposition to the President. The ones that are still alive is outside and in exile. That is because of the fear of the state, that has assassinated plenty of the opposition leaders and opposition activists in the Republic.
So a man that uses death and detaining of the opponents. Are not having political discourse and having consensus with all political stakeholders. That is a tyrant steering the wheel and deciding the path for everyone. Everyone just has to blindly follow and not questioning him. They have to stand on guard and be poetic about it.
That is why the Referendum of 2018 appearing. President Nkurunziza isn’t planning to send doves, to create a paradise, than he would believe in accountability, transparency and taxation with representation. It is not force-fed public, with a government forced in their face and they have to obey. There no other rule of law, and the state can even get rid of you if your speaking up against them. Nothing will be left behind, nothing will be left without touched and if you oppose them, expect to stop breathing or having a heartbeat.
That is what the Nkurunziza does and if people forget that, then they forget the reality of what he does. Peace.
Ten women and 11 children were among the victims of the attack by unidentified armed men on the village of Ruhamagara, in Cibitoke Province.
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 15, 2018 – Highlighting the rising tension following a recent deadly attack on a village in Burundi that left 26 civilians dead, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein on Tuesday expressed concern about a possible upsurge in violence during the run-up to Thursday’s controversial constitutional referendum.
Ten women and 11 children were among the victims of the attack by unidentified armed men on the village of Ruhamagara, in Cibitoke Province, some 60 kilometres north-west of Burundi’s capital Bujumbura at around 22:00 hours last Friday.
“There are very differing accounts of whom the attackers may have been, and what the motive was,” said Zeid. “It may have been political – designed to impact on the referendum – or it may have been carried out for other reasons, including revenge. Local residents have reported the men wore military uniforms, but this does not necessarily indicate who they were. Either way, in this febrile atmosphere, it is a very dangerous development. Burundi is awash with rumours, political negotiations are deadlocked, and tensions are rising sharply in the wake of this attack, with many dreading what may happen during and after Thursday’s referendum.”
Zeid took note of the authorities’ announcement that they are launching an investigation and urged them to ensure it is transparent and effective. He also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of Friday’s attack on Ruhamagara.
“Because of the constant stream of violations over the past three years, and this extremely controversial and divisive referendum, the actions of the authorities are viewed with considerable mistrust by a sizeable segment of the population,” Zeid said. He noted that a significant number of opposition politicians and others calling for a ‘No’ vote have been targeted for arbitrary arrests and detention by security forces, sometimes with the assistance of the notorious Imbonerakure group which supports the Government.
“Everyone will suffer if Burundi explodes into violence during or after the referendum,” the UN Human rights Chief said. “I urge the Government to live up to its responsibilities to provide the people of Burundi with peace, security and a fully functioning democracy where everyone’s human rights are respected, and the rule of law is applied equally to all. It has very little time to turn this around. While the opposition has much to oppose, it must also avoid any actions that could add fuel to the fire.”