Tag Archives: Pierre Nkurunziza

Burundi President-elect starts mandate

Burundi’s constitutional court has agreed that President-elect Evariste Ndayishimiye should be sworn in immediately following the sudden death of Pierre Nkurunziza, the government said in a statement posted to Twitter on June 12.

The Constitution provides for the speaker of parliament to take over in such a situation. The court ruled, however, that “the interim period is not necessary and that … Ndayishimiye must be sworn in as soon as possible”, the government said.

However there is the growing suspicion that the COVID-19 outbreak in Burundi will further disrupt public life. The social media persisting reports indicate that premature death of President Nkurunziza and his family members were caused by neglect of the coronavirus hazard.

Whatever happening in Burundi was quite predictable. Pierre Nkurunziza ignored WHO guidelines. He assumed that COVID-19 never existed, nobody in Bujumbura raised a voice! Pierre dead, his mother too; his wife & sister $ President-elect admitted [to hospital]…” independent journalist Abuga Makori writes.

EU looking forward to new history of Burundi

In relation with an official period of mourning for Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on 10 June, starting a day after the announcement of his death from a heart attack aged 55, the European diplomacy has expressed the condolences to the authorities and people of Burundi, and also expressed willingness to cooperate on new chapter in the history of the country on basis of reciprocity.

The European Union presents its condolences to the authorities and people of Burundi, and encourages all the political players preserve the peaceful climate and respect the legal and Constitutional framework in these circumstances, awaiting the investiture of the new President” the European External Action Service spokesperson said, commenting on the situation.

Furthermore the Hight Représentative [Josep Borrell] in his statement two days ago said the the elections and the peaceful transfer of power could open a new page in the history of Burundi, and the European Union is ready to contribute in this new chapter in the history of the country, alongside with our international and regional players, and based on reciprocity principle”, she underlined.

Wearing face masks and gloves to prevent the spread of the COVID-19, senior government officials, foreign diplomats and religious leaders lined up to sign a condolence book opened in his memory at the presidential palace.
Multiple diplomatic sources indicated the late President suffered difficulty to breeze, consistent with the coronavirus pneumonia symptoms when he was rushed to hospital in Karuzi. The officials frantically tried to transport him to Nairobi or Dar es-Salaam hospitals, however this condition deteriorated dramatically and efforts of Burundi medics to save Nkurunziza life failed.

Nkurunziza’s spouse, Denise Bucumi, has been absent. Air ambulance service AMREF had flown her to Nairobi on May 21 for medical treatment, but declined to confirm widespread reports in Kenyan media that this was am emergency treatment for COVID-19 pneumonia.

Late President Nkurunziza‘s 15 years in office had been marred throughout by allegations of massive human rights abuses and muzzling of the press, as well as the opression of critics and opposition.

His death, however, plays into his successor’s hands, according to Thierry Vircoulon, a Burundi expert at the International Crisis Group.

There was naturally a question after the election of what roll Pierre Nkurunziza would play — if he would be an obstacle for the new president or, on the other hand, if the men would reach an understanding,” Vircoulon told DW.

That’s a question and post-election scenario that is no longer needs to be asked. The new president of the old regime will have a completely free hand.”

Nkurunziza had been due to stand down in August, making way for retired general Evariste Ndayishimiye, who was declared as a winner of the election last month, the result that the opposition said was marred by violence and fraud.

However the Constitutional court last week rejected opposition complaint of the rigging charges.

Image: EEAS courtesy – Virginie Battu-Henriksson Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy

Burundi mourns President NkurunzizaNkurunziza

Burundi began an official mourning for President Pierre Nkurunziza on June 10 a day after the announcement of his sudden death from a heart attack aged 55, leaving in shock the East African nation he had ruled with an iron grip for last 15 years.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were among the first world leaders to express their condolences June 9 evening, with Kenyatta hailing Nkurunziza’s “contribution to the integration and progress of the region”.

Nkurunziza, 55, started to feel unwell after attending a volleyball match on June 6, and appeared to be improving until his condition suddenly deteriorated on June 8 and his heart stopped, the presidency announced in a statement.

Despite intense efforts, the medical team was not able to save the patient,” said the statement, adding that doctors had spent several hours trying to revive him. A post on the government’s official Twitter account early Tuesday evening announced Nkurunziza‘s death “with great sadness“, and a statement from the presidency said he died in a hospital in the eastern city of Karuzi.

Nkurunziza’s wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, has been transported to Kenya for Covid-19, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

U.N. issues devastating Burundi HR report

More crimes against humanity were committed in Burundi in 2017 and 2018, whipped up by rhetoric from top officials including President Pierre Nkurunziza, a U.N. human rights report said.

Burundi has tried and failed to stop the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2016, and refuses to cooperate with it. The commission said last year that officials at the highest level were responsible for crimes against humanity.

“The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity continue to be committed in Burundi,” the Commission’s latest report said.

“These crimes include murder, imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence of comparable gravity, and persecution on political grounds.”

Nkurunziza’s spokesman and Burundi’s human rights minister declined to make an immediate comment.

Burundi has been seized by violence since early 2015 when Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, widely seen as a breach of the constitution.

Clashes between security forces and rebels left hundreds dead and forced about half a million to flee — rattling a region still haunted by the memories of the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda, which has a similar ethnic mix to Burundi.

Belgium sends Special Envoy to Burundi

Burundi’s long-serving President Pierre Nkurunziza promised on Thursday to step down when his term ends in 2020, easing fears of fresh violence in the impoverished country.

Nkurunziza had been widely expected to take advantage of recent changes to the constitution to stand for two more terms – raising concerns that Burundi would see a repeat of the unrest that erupted after he stood for a third time in 2015.

My term is ending in 2020” – he said a ceremony.

This constitution was not modified for Pierre Nkurunziza as the country’s enemies have been saying. It was amended for the good and better future of Burundi and the Burundian people,” he said in the speech broadcast on state television.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders welcomes the announcement by the President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza of the end of his mandate in 2020. The principle of democratic alternation lies at the heart of the Arusha Accords and of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

Following this announcement, Belgium hopes that the authorities of Burundi will now start working on opening up the public and democratic space, as an essential step towards the elections in 2020. Belgium therefore pleads for a resumption of an inclusive dialogue, under the aegis of the region and in the spirit of the Arusha agreement. Minister Reynders has decided to send his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes to Burundi to bring this message.


Burundi leader can stay until 2034

The overwhelming majority of Burundi voters (73%) approved a new constitution, the country’s electoral commission said on Monday (21/05/2018), ushering in changes that could let the president stay in power to 2034.

Already ahead of the vote a number of independent experts have expressed concerns about a possibility for President Pierre Nkurunziza to become an ‘eternal’ leader of the nation

Last week’s referendum asked voters to say “yes” or “no” to amendments extending the presidential term from five to seven years and allowing President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek two more terms beginning in 2020.

L’UE appelle au dialogue au Burundi

La récente session de la médiation organisée par la Communauté des Etats de l’Afrique centrale à Arusha sur la situation au Burundi n’a pas permis de parvenir à des conclusions conjointes.

L’Union européenne renouvèle son appel au dialogue entre tous les acteurs burundais qui est la seule voie possible pour établir une solution durable à la crise politique et exprime son plein soutien aux efforts de médiation en cours.

Dans ce contexte, le lancement d’un processus de révision constitutionnelle de manière unilatérale par le gouvernement comporte plusieurs risques. Il va à contre courant des efforts de concertation et pourrait conduire à l’abandon de dispositions clés de l’Accord de paix d’Arusha, qui reste à ce jour le principal instrument pour la paix et la stabilité du Burundi et de la région.

L’Union européenne rappelle qu’un engagement sincère et sérieux de tous les acteurs burundais, en particulier du gouvernement, soutenu par les pays de la région, est nécessaire à la réussite de la mission confiée au Président Mkapa.