BUJUMBURA January 7th (ABP) – 13 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) held a press conference in Bujumbura on Friday, January 4, 2019, to comment on the correspondence that Ugandan President Yoweli Kaguta Museveni addressed to his Burundian counterpart Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza.
In his opening speech, the chairman and legal representative of the Collective of Associations of People Infected and Affected by HIV / AIDS “CAPES +”, Mr. Hamza Venant Burikukiye, recalled that the letter of the Burundian President was against some Burundians sought by Burundian justice because, according to him, having committed the coup on May 13, 2015, but who today want to be innocent, even going as far as “wanting to negotiate with the Burundian party to get political positions badly acquired “.
He cited in particular the reception and accommodation of the coup plotters, the recruitment of young Burundian refugees at Mahama camp into armed groups. He also mentioned the armed attacks in Kabarore commune of Kayanza province, the attacks of 2018 in Ruhagarika village of Cibitoke province that resulted in the death of 26 people, the invasion of Burundi by Rwandan military helicopter, and others.The same letter also asked President Museveni that as the EAC chairman, he could take a strong look at the conflict between Burundi and Rwanda because, Burikukiye added, Burundi has repeatedly shown tangible evidence that Rwanda is causing it.
As for the letter sent to the Burundian President, those CSOs indicated that Mr. Museveni made comments that have surprised them where they think he undermined the history of Burundi by confusing it with that of Nazism in Germany and with that of Rwanda in 1959 whose persecuted ethnic group in Rwanda was well received in Burundi.
The same organizations regret that President Museveni does not know the current situation of Burundi which is stable because peace and security reigning over the entire national territory, said Mr. Burikukiye.
According to Mr. Burikukiye, those CSOs deplore that, through that letter, Mr. Museveni ignored the sad event that brought Burundi into the chaos on October 21, 1993, following the assassination of the first democratically elected President, Mr. Melchior Ndadaye and other ills that Burundi has experienced. “These are the same ills that provoked popular resistance movements, the very source of the Burundian conflict towards the Arusha Agreement,” he said.
On his part, the chairman and legal representative of the “Izere Ntiwihebure” association, Mr. François-Xavier Ndaruzaniye, said that Burundi is currently well organized at the political, security, social and economic levels.
In politics, he said that all institutions in the country come from elections. He also gave the case of the recent referendum which was organized on the basis of the means given by the Burundians themselves without foreign aid. Mr. Ndaruzaniye also gave the example of setting up commissions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and so on. Even today, Burundians are giving their contributions to the 2020 elections, he added.
On the diplomatic front, Ndaruzaniye said that Burundi coexists peacefully with all the countries of the world except Rwanda and Belgium. He calls on President Museveni to address this issue in order to put an end to the dispute between Burundi and Rwanda.
On the social side, he recalled that since 2005, the Burundi government has taken social measures that are favorable to the people. He mentioned, among other things, free health care for children under five and pregnant women, free childbirth, free education at the basic school level, and so on.
Regarding security, Ndaruzaniye said it reigns throughout the country, adding that even nightclubs operate as in the past. He pointed out that in the sector of the economy, food is abundant and food prices in the markets have fallen. He also gave the example of macadamized roads connecting all the provinces of the country, the construction of universities, stadiums and schools and health centers in each census village.