The Rwanda People’s Party statement on the situation in Burundi

Fellow Rwandans and friends of Rwanda, the current developments in Burundi follow the same pattern as that which took place i n Rwanda during the unforgettable horror of the 100 days of Rwandan genocide against Tutsis. Yesterday, it was Rwanda, but today, it is our neighbours, the sons and daughters of Burundi. We must all stand-up to condemn in the strongest term the on-going horrors in Burundi, at this moment there is being perpetrated unspeakable crimes against the innocent people of Burundi.

Violence  in  Burundi  is  now  in  its  fourth  day  and  the  Burundian  people  are  being  indiscriminately  killed,  imprisoned  and disappearing without the knowledge of the international community.  Foreigners are banned from entering the country, while local radio stations  which are the voice of the voiceless such as RPA, Isangano, Radio Bonesha FM  and other social Medias, were taken off air by the security forces to prevent them from exposing the current state of the country and the widespread violence aga inst the Burundian people. There is an exodus of Burundians to neighbouring Rwanda at the rate of 3000 per day. They are fleeing the violence and the threats posed to their lives. There are worrying reports that the Police and a government backed Imbonerakure militia are engaged in violence, including killings.  There are reports that some 420 politicians and activists have been abducted including Pierre-Claver Mbonyimpa and many others. There are also credible information that there is going to be an attempt to arrest Vital Nshimirimana and many others still in hiding. A grim darkness has fallen on the whole country, and the people’s weeping and pleas are heard throughout the nation.

We call upon the international community, in particular, the East African Community members states to intervene. The UN and AU should intervene to end the bloodshed in Burundi. The people of Burundi are at a cross roads and they need support from the international community and all peace loving people throughout the world in order to prevent further killin gs and massacres. The Burundians are not interested in statements coming from different corners of the world since they do nothing to stop the ongo ing slaughter. Burundians need action now-from the international community to avert mass killings.

The Rwandan People’s Party urges the following in order to restore peace and democracy to the country;

• The current president of Burundi, must respect the constitution and to step down immediately, so as to avert any further bloodshed.
• Disband the notorious Imbonerakure  militias and to reform the police force.
• Allow independent radios on air to inform the Burundian people of the current situation in the country. 
• Allow the formation of a coalition government involving all the political parties in Burundi.
• Resurrect the 2000 Arusha Agreement which has been ignored by President Nkuruzinza and his followers.
• Suspended the election due to take place on 26 June  until   December 2016.
• Bring to justice the leaders of the Imbonerakure militias and members of the Police force responsible for extrajudicial murders of innocent Burundian. Bring to justice government and military officials responsible for inciting violence.

Compensate the Victims of the Police and Imbonerakure brutality.
•    The Opposition must not engage in any revenge attacks on the Police, militia and supporters of the governing party.
Create a permeable environment that would enable a freely and voluntarily repatriation of all Burundian refugees back to their respective homes and offer guarantees for their safety.
•    The Opposition must act in a responsible manner by staging peaceful demonstrations.

There is no doubt not to believe that in the current dangerous environment, increased political instability, the silencing of the
‘voices of the voiceless’, harassment, violence and a de-facto coup d’état, in Burundi, there is no hope for  a free and fair creditable elections on 26 June 2015. The Burundian Police and government have lost creditability and the trust of the people and
international observers. Organizing elections in such an environment will contribute to catastrophic consequences that must be
avoided.  The RPP once again calls upon the people of Burundi to avoid violence and try to avert a catastrophic darkness from falling on their country. Burundi is your country, and it is the sacred responsibility of the Burundian people to avoid viole nce and to resolve your political differences peacefully for the national interest as stipulated under the Arusha Agreement. If the Arusha Accord had been respected the current crisis would have been averted. Therefore, the ruling party CNDD-FDD is ultimately responsible for this crisis and should be held accountable for the violence and repression sweeping Burundi. The International Community should denounce their actions and consider taking measures against the current Burundian regime.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ruling party CNDD-FDD nominated him to stand for re-election in June 26.  This  is  in direct contravention of the 2000 Arusha Accord for Peace and National Reconciliation because it would mean that the current president would serve a third term.

According to Article 7 of the Arusha Accords, “The President of the Republic (Burundi) shall be elected for a term of five years, renewable only once. No one may serve more than two presidential terms.”

It is also unconstitutional under the 2005 Burundian Constitution. This has led to the present dangerous situation in Burundi. The announcement of the Burundian President has sparked violence in the streets of the capital city. This unrest has since spread to all parts of the country. This has led to a brutal campaign of violence by the m ilitias and the Police force, presumably ordered by the Burundian government.

President Nkuruziza, by violating his country’s constitution, has lost the reputation of being a freedom fighter. A man who rose from being a sports teacher to the stature of a head of state. His legacy, will, and shall always be one of a round of bloodletting in Burundi, that has cost Burundi 6 of her sons and daughters. The brutal killings of 6 innocent Burundians killed by police and Imbonerakure militia will overshadow all of the achievements of Mr Nkuruziza’s 10 years in power.

The unlawful actions of the Burundian President, in order to preserve his political power are deplorable. His wish to hold onto power at costs has already cost the lives of at least six people and probably many more. The Burundian President’s actions threaten to start a bloody conflict. Burundi has had its share of tragedy during 12 years of civil war an estimated 300,000 people were killed. Any further violence in Burundi could cause a new round of bloodletting. The RPP calls on the government and the opposition to act in a peaceful and responsible manner for the good of the country.

Fellow Rwandan and friends of Rwanda,  the silence, of East African leaders, the lack of a response by the  African Union, and with the UN, EU and US disinterested in helping the poverty stricken, the innocent, the defenseless  and downtrodden people of Burundi, it is now evident, that the fear of a Burundian genocide, has now become a reality and the people of Burundi’s fate has been placed in the hands of the ruthless and cruel Police and Imbonakure militia who are now free to slaughter them en masse. The main question now for every decent human being; is can this be allowed to happen again? What lesson did the world learn from the
1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda? And what is the International Community doing to help those threatened with genocide? 
Did President Paul Kagame of Rwanda know that the Burundian government was planning a genocide against its own people, and if so why has he failed to intervene to save the lives of millions of Burundians? Is President Kikwete of Tanzaina unaware of the tragic events currently visiting the people of Burundi? Did President Museveni of Uganda, disown the people of Burundi? Has President Kenyatta of Kenya, not been informed about the harrowing episodes in Burundi?  Will President Obama of US, confess that the US does not know there is a country called Burundi  on the planet and that’s why his government failed to intervene? Does David Cameron, Prime Minister of Great Britain, believe that the lives of Burundians do not matter? Does President Hollande of France not understand that lives are being lost that there is another at this very moment in Burundi? Where do President Putin of Russia and Chancellor Markel of Germany stand on the issue of Burundi? Can we assume that the UN and the European Union have not been following the tragic events in Burundi?  Mr. Hollande, Mr. Cameroon, Mr. Obama and Ms Markel, why are you not supporting the peaceful democratic protestors in Burundi as you did to the protestors in Median Square, Kiev? Have you already forgotten about the spirit of Median Square and your claims to be champions of democracy and human rights? Where are the voices of the Human Right organisations, who should support the weak and defenceless people of Burundi?

Can the world allow the innocent Burundian people to be slaughtered in broad daylight like pigs and cattle in the slaughterin g
house, just because these destitute people of Burundi don’t have oil, diamond, gold, uranium? The world must not let this happen!

The RPP believes that, no amount of oil, diamond, gold, etc are as precious as people or can buy or substitute the lives of the sons and daughters of Burundi.  The country does not have resources and riches and does this mean that the people of Burundi can be abandoned by the international community. The International community had ignored the callous murders of defenseless Burundians at the hands of a notorious police and a force of 50,000 well-equipped murderers, that is the Imbonakure militias. The world will never forgive their so called world leaders if they fail to intervene to stop a genocide in Burundi. There is no excuse they can give to the world, and history will judge them harshly and blame them for being partly responsible for the Burundian genocide.  The RPP is calling on world leaders to forget the politics of personal interest, and to save the lives of Burundian people.

The RPP once again send’s our condolence to the family and relatives of the victims of the madness and brutality of the Burundian Police and Imbonerakure militias; we also wish the injured a speedy recovery. Today, the people are enduring dark and terrible times. It is not just individual Burundians losing their lives; we are seeing the imminent death of Burundi as a nation and a people.

Our prayers are with people of Burundi at this critical time especially those who are incarcerated in various detention centres and concentration camps around the country because of their opposition to an unconstitutional-3rd term. May Holy and Almighty God be with the people of Burundi and give them the courage to overcome their difference for a better Burundi without further blood staining their sons and daughters.

Thank you.

John V Karuranga, President Rwanda People’s Party This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype: John.Karuranga
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