Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bar Shooting Bujumbura Exposes Bad Governance

Patrice Faye's appeal has started monday and was interrupted. Fabien Segatwa, his lawyer asked for provisional release.
@africahand tweets today:
"My Burundi source reports Bujumbura is tense and rumors flying - hospitals overwhelmed security heavily visible downtown"
September 7th we could read that a human rights body accused Burundi government of a surge of extrajudicial killings (documented 125). Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, chairman of the Association for the Defence of Human Rights and Prisoners' Rights, reported these acts:
"We have pictures of the victims, and most of them were executed for political reasons"
Yesterday he was summoned!!

Ban Ki-Moon can claim progress is being made in Burundi, the reality is much more complex. Belgian foreign affairs Minister Vanackere makes a declaration.

Beginning of  july the German ambassador Joseph Weiss left Burundi and was declared "persona non grata" by Burundi's vice-president Térence Sinunguruza, a long time power broker in Burundi who served under several Burundian Presidents. Germany later demanded excuses for this statement by Sinunguruza. The reason for this bizarre declaration, that was later denied, was Joseph Weiss' support for sketches by Patrice Faye, who is in jail in Burundi on false charges. Bizindavyi Jean Marie wrote about developments in Burundi in july:
"After having attacke civil society, human rights organisations, the meda, the CNDD-FDD now takes on diplomats and foreigners living inBurundi"
About 10 days  ago two of Agathon Rwasa's supporters were assassinated in Kikindo Bujumbura, Burundi. Léonce Ngendakumana, leader of Burundi's opposition party Democratic Alliance for Change was arrested today , Pierre Claver Mbonimpa (mentioned previousy), another member of the same party was summoned by police yesterday. The house of Léonce Ngendakumana FRODEBU leader, was searched today and after a four hour search he was interogated at a police station, report by Domitille Kiramvu who herself was accused by the mayor Evrard Giswaswa of Bujumbura october 2010.
Jean-Marie Ntahimpera, who has written many great blogposts about Burundian politics, wrote about governance and Burundi last week in which he quotes Pierre Calame who gives this definition of good governance:
"the art of constructing in human society more unity, more liberty and more diversity"
Another interesting quote from this excellent blogpost:
"The goal of governance is to give strategic orientation, to insure that objectives are met, that risks are managed well and that resources are used in a spirit of responsability. Governance watches carefully that priorities interests of stakeholders (citizens, state authority, foreign stakeholders) are respected and makes sure that their voices are heard in the mangement of things"
 The bomb attack in Bujumbura seems to be a direct response to a press release on Nkurunziza's website, that stated september 7th 2011:
"At the end of a-two-month intensive work to raise awareness in their respective municipalities, the assessment of the security situation on the province was made by the municipalities’ mayors, eye witnesses of the evolution of the security situation on the field. (Mayors’ accounts are attached herewith). The Head of the State assumed that the pacification campaign in Bujumbura "rural" was successful at 95%."
Diplomats seem to disagree with the effectiveness of this campaign.
Jeffrey Gettleman writes down what anyone who follows Burundi knows is true:
"Diplomats and human rights groups say the Burundian government has embarked on a campaign to methodically eliminate opposition supporters.
"The government has been slaughtering them like rats," said the African diplomat, who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The attack on Sunday, he said simply, "was payback."
Cara Jones writes on texasinafrica:
"I tend to agree that the violence comes as result of CNDD-FDD and FNL tensions"
President Pierre Nkurunziza visited the scene and vowed to bring those responsible to justice.He said he was cancelling this week's trip to New York, for the UN General Assembly.

Agnathon Rwasa, exiled opposition party leader (FNL) said in a statement, two days before the attack:
"Unacceptable massacres, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, cruel acts of torture, intimidation, death threats and extra-judicial executions are carried out every day,"
 He posted a long letter to his website on monday, just a day after the killings. I haven't yet found much of interest there, to be honest.

Thierry Vircoulon, central Africa project director at International Crisis Group (ICG):
"Last year's elections were a political failure and since then the violence has just been increasing, ..
"Talk of a new rebellion is not exaggerated. We have a real escalation in the fighting and it's getting closer to Bujumbura."
Burundi cannot afford to have the leaders of the opposition out of the country and the opposition totally marginalised,"
August 5th Willy Nzisabira, along with some genocide denial  claimed in a blogpost on the website of the Royal African Society:
"The concept of democracy: The rule of the majority”, understood by the average Burundian as the wish of the majority to be the absolute law of the land, is easily perceived in the minds of the people in ethnic terms – thus widening the gap between the interests of the Hutus emphasizing rights and seeking for more control of the nation’s life, and the interests of Tutsis emphasizing competence and seeking for more security for their lives. 
Since 2005, in the name of democracy, all the countless leadership abuses – corruption, assassinations, and many other human rights abuses by the current government led by President Nkurunziza "
Not a very helpfull analysis. The failures of the Nkurunziza government can certainly not be blamed on one ethnic group. The fact that Nkurunziza is a hutu doesn't tell us anything about what is going on behind the scenes. Using a hutu president as figureheads is nothing new in Burundi or Rwanda. Who doesn't remember Burundi President Ntibantunganya , one of his successors Domitien Ndayizeye or Rwandan President Pasteur Bizimungu?

September 11th Thierry Ndabahagamye wrote:
"Chers Burundais , nous avons encore un long chemin pour accéder a la démocratie et pouvoir exprimer librement nos opinions et positions : soit tu es avec les plus forts soit tu fermes ta bouches, sinon la mort te guette,…"
I am not convinced ingredients for war are all met, as some suggest. One of the most worrying developments has been the creation of "Imbonerakure"a gang or militia created by the ruling party in order to take out opponents in a campaign called "Opération Safisha". Edouard Madirisha thinks the party in power is not lead by it's civil leadership, but by the (former rebel) military leadership. He thinks the situation as it is now doesn't help the civil government, the opposition and even less the people.

Fabrice Tshibaka Mutiga, representative of Congolese students in Burundi made a declaration september 19th because University in Burundi threatens to no longer accept Congolese diplomas. For those who prefer Miss Burundi, here are the twelve candidates. Advocacynet fellow Walter James blogs on the attack. Mamadou Bah is mourned as one of the architects of peace in Burundi. If you prefer art, an exhibition by Clovis Mwilambwe Ngoy et Sengele Diya in Bujumbura till september 30th.

September 5th Paul Kagame met Pierre Nkurunziza in the border town Kirundo. September 10th Burundi soldiers  7th Batallion completed duty as part of Amisom. September 12th a tripartite meeting took place between Rwanda, Burundi and Congolese military and defense representatives. Nkurunziza is also involved in EAC negotiations on the Sudan EAC bid. His wife is a pastor.


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