Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye has appointed a new cabinet that saw the country’s top diplomat to United Nations, Albert Shingiro take the Foreign Affairs docket.
Shingiro worked behind the scenes to woo support of global powers for departed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s reign.
The diplomat, who previously served as Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, played a key role in rallying Russia to veto some sanctions against Burundi in 2015.
From 2010 to 2012, Shingiro worked in the External Service focusing on security of the Presidency.
He had earlier served as Second Counsellor and Chargé d’Affaires at the Permanent Mission of Burundi to the United Nations.
Born on 31 December 1970 in Buhiga Karusi, Shingiro holds a masters in international relations from Laval University in Canada (2003) and a bachelors in legal science from the University of Benin (1998).
In 2007, Shingiro served as an expert on the First Strategic Framework of Consolidation of Peace in Burundi.
The new cabinet, which comprises 11 men and four women, was confirmed in a presidential Decree No. 100/008 of June 28, 2020.
Late last week, Ndayishimiye appointed former Minister of Internal Security Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni as prime minister and Prosper Bazombanza as Vice President.
Bazombanza, who served as First Vice-President from 2014 to 2015, belongs to opposition party National Progress Union (UPRONA).
He will be the only vice president in the new government in line with the amended Constitution promulgated in 2018.
The amended Constitution created the post of Prime Minister and reduced the number of Vice Presidents from two to one.
The Premier is appointed by the ruling party while the Vice President is seconded by the opposition.
In the new Cabinet, President Ndayishimiye also appointed former director of Burundi’s National Intelligence Services (SNR), Gervais Ndirakobuca as Minister of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security.
During the Presidential campaigns, Ndayishimiye, who previously served as Deputy Chief of Defense Forces, said that he would focus on modernizing the army by constantly providing capacity building to the Burundi National Defense Forces (BNDF) and Burundi’s National Police (BNP).
Burundi has been grappling with insecurity posed by rebels along its borders.
Observers say the country still lags behind in terms of building and equipping a modern army to deter regional security threats and secure Burundi’s territorial integrity.
Ndayishimiye said he would work to improve skills and discipline and provide modern equipment to security forces to confront enemies of the country.
Ndayishimiye also appointed former Kirundo Governor Alain Tribert Mutabazi as Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs.
Former Gitega Prison Director, Jeanine Nibizi, was also named Minister of Justice.
Dr Domitien Ndihokubwayo, who previously served as head of Burundi’s Revenue Authority, has been maintained as Finance Minister. He enjoys considerable respect in the donor community.
Ndayishimiye will serve for seven years but can seek reelection only once.
Minister of National Education and Scientific Research: Dr Gaspard BANYANKIMBONA
Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS: Dr Thaddée NDIKUMANA
Minister of the Environment, Agriculture and Livestock: Dr Déo Guide RUREMA
Minister of Infrastructure, Equipment and Social Housing: Mr. Déogratias NSANGANIYUMWAMI
Minister of Public Service, Labor and Employment: Madame Domine BANYANKIMBONA
Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines: Ir Abraham UWIZEYE
Minister of Commerce, Transport, Industry and Tourism: Hon. Immaculate NDABANEZE
Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture: Amb. Ezekiel NIBIGIRA
Minister of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender: Madame Imelde SABUSHIMIKE
Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media: Mrs. Marie Chantal NIJIMBERE