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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

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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

 

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