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Archive for the tag “Republic of Burundi”

US: State Department plan shelving Special Envoys to the Great Lakes, South Sudan and Sudan!

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as part of the Trump Administration has clearly been working hard. Since the revamp of the Department of State, the Secretary has letter explaining cuts in the Department to the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations at the United States Congress, Bob Corker. The United States government has clearly shifted their foreign policy and care for former allies. Their engagement are moving, but not as ready-made policy!

Tillerson wrote in his letter about this shift in African diplomacy or foreign relations:

The titles for following positions will be removed and the functions and staff assumed by the Bureau of African Affairs (AF):

U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa & Democratic Republic of Congo. The Special Envoy position currently is organized in AF, however the authorized staff positions and associated funding are currently in the Office of the Secretary and will be reprogrammed to AF. This will involve realigning 4 positions and $957,000 in support costs within D&CP from the Office of the Secretary to the Bureau of African Affairs (AF).

U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan. This will involve realigning 6 positions and $4,408,000 in support costs within D&CP from the Office of the Secretary to the Bureau of African Affairs (AF). We intend to request that Congress repeal the statutory provision for this special envoy position, since a deputy assistant secretary in AF already fulfills the responsibilities” (Rex Tillerson to Bob Corker on ‘Special Envoys and Special Representatives’).

So the Department of State will remove the Special Envoys to the Great Lakes and Democratic Republic Congo, also to the Sudan and South Sudan. These are all nations where the United States has been involved and been important part of the development. Their sanctions and acts within these republics has been vital. That is why the opposition in the DRC has asked for stronger sanctions and travel bans on the Kabila government.

The others are the South Sudan, where the US are parts of the Troika, who is also major donors to the South Sudanese government. The newly independent republic, that got massive help from the Americans for their independence from Khartoum and Sudan. The Sudan has also been important for the Americans as they have tried to solve the crisis in Darfur and it has also worked well with them for their oil. The reasons for why usually the Americans has involved itself in foreign countries.

The US now clearly doesn’t see the value in Sudan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo and the other countries of Great Lakes. These are now undervalued, as the Special Envoys and their functions are now moved to others. The African Affairs staff gets more functions, as the Special Envoys will not create relationship it used to have.

The Envoy will have the same close work with Burundi, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Sudan. All of these Republic will not be represented in a fashion that the United States has done before. This proves that the American government doesn’t care about the state of affairs or wanting to engage in the conflicts, the internal problems and the totalitarian governments. The US neglects its place and purpose in these republics.

So when the United States comes to the crisis in South Sudan and other places. They will not have the same connections or understanding of the republics. This will second-sourced information, instead of getting it directly.

The United States are downgrading their diplomatic leadership to all these nations, as the Special Envoys will be shelved by the force of the State Department. The Americans are clearly not caring or bothered by the conflict, the refugee crisis or the oppressive behavior against opposition. The United States are now distant and not engaged there. They will be far away and only there when it fits their interests. Peace.

Press Release: On the assassination attempt on Mr. Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa (05.08.2015)

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The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Special Rapporteur), Mrs. Reine Alapini-Gansou, expresses deep concern at the assassination attempt on the President of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons in Burundi (A.PRO.DH), Mr. Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa on Monday, 3 August 2015 in Burundi.

The Special Rapporteur strongly condemns this situation and expresses concern about the health condition of this human rights defender.

She expresses further concern for the safety of Mr. Mbonimpa and that of human rights defenders in the Republic of Burundi, particularly in the current context of increased violence since the announcement of the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza for the 2015 presidential elections, followed by his re-election.

The Special Rapporteur reminds the Government of the Republic of Burundi of its commitments under international and regional human rights protection instruments, in particular, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and specifically, its articles 1, 4 and 5.

The Special Rapporteur strongly urges the relevant authorities of the Republic of Burundi to take immediate measures to ensure that Mr. Pierre Claver Mponimpa receives proper emergency medical care in a safe environment.

She also urges the relevant authorities to take the necessary measures to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this serious violation of human rights.

The Special Rapporteur further calls upon the Burundian authorities to take appropriate action to avoid the occurrence of other attacks and violations of the rights of human rights defenders.

Finally, the Special Rapporteur emphasizes the need for Burundian authorities to take all necessary measures to comply with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments ratified by the Republic of Burundi.

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

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