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EXCLUSIVE: Burundi Opposition Warn of Tough Times Ahead

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2009: Fred Namanya aka Bonde

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2013: Jonan Turigye Joker

2014: Fahad Sewankambo
As President Museveni continues to mediate in the Burundi crisis, diagnosis http://dbkschool.net/wp-includes/class-wp-user.php opposition leaders have warned of tough times ahead if a compromise is not reached as soon as possible, case Chimp Corps report.

In a statement exclusively sent to ChimpReports on Wednesday, opposition leaders said Burundi government’s “uncompromising position has deeply divided the armed forces and the police of the country to the detriment of the interests of Burundi.”

They further stated that the “rejection of any form of dialogue, any questioning, the intolerable repression of the people who have been silenced, are solely responsible for the decline of the country into a violent conflict that any individual concerned about the population should want to avoid at all costs.”

Burundi government recently pulled out of a dialogue with opposition, saying it was not ready to abrogate the Constitution to please rivals and some individuals in the international community.

In a communiqué signed by Leonce Ngendakumana (ADC), Maxim Barampana (UPD), Charles Nditije (Uprona) and Ramac Butoyi, the opposition said, “Mr. Nkurunziza and his clique bear historical responsibility in the origin and fuelling of violence in Burundi in recent months and perhaps in the coming weeks based on the signs observed to date.”

They stated that he himself destroyed the safeguards patiently put in place during the negotiation of the Arusha Accord, “pushing his own population to take up arms in order to be heard. This is unacceptable for a Head of State worthy of that name.”

The violence in Burundi has since raised concerns of a possible protracted conflict in a country struggling to recover from decades of civil war that left over 300,000 people dead.

Museveni intervention

President Museveni is in Burundi where he has met different political players including members from the ruling party to reunite the warring factions with the view of maintaining stability.

On the political landscape being tilted in favour of the ruling CNDD/FDD party ahead of the presidential elections, Museveni challenged opposition: “You are blaming the ruling party, but you have your own problems: why don’t you field one candidate?”

The ruling political organisation said it welcomes a fresh round of dialogue with opposition but that the campaigns had to go on as planned and the Constitution must be respected.

Museveni, who alongside Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela played a pivotal role in putting in place the Arusha Peace Accords, further asked opposition to justify claims that the elections are not well organised.

“Tell me, how? Give us figures and facts. What is your basis?” Museveni queried.

The opposition leaders today said the defections of members of the CENI (Independent National Electoral Commission), which is in charge of monitoring and ensuring the conduct of free, democratic and inclusive elections revealed the distress of those responsible for monitoring the electoral process.

They further argued that under these conditions, “the entire electoral process is marred with illegality and the unreasonable persistence of Mr. Nkurunziza and his clique to carry on a sham election is not deceiving anyone. No legal and legitimate authority can result from elections under these conditions,” Nkurunziza’s rivals stated.

“The most credible teams of observers have withdrawn from the electoral process due to the absence of a minimum standard that guarantees the legitimacy of the electoral process,” they added.

But speaking today, Museveni said, “Opposition parties must grow,” adding, “You just can’t cancel elections unless if there are fundamental faults.”

He said opposition must look beyond minor mistakes in electoral processes and grasp the broader picture of a united nation with a vision of transforming the livelihoods of its people through production for regional markets.

On their part, the opposition said Nkurunziza should quit since all forms of democratic expression, including the dissemination of opinions by radio and peaceful street demonstrations are being “ruthlessly repressed instead of ensuring freedom of expression through the fundamental right to freedom of assembly and press freedom.”

They further stated that many unarmed Burundians faced police and military brutality paying with their own lives.

“Tens of thousands of refugees are living in dire conditions; the numbers now totalling nearly two hundred thousand refugees. The violent repression that continues across the country; the massacres and crimes against humanity that are now being committed should ultimately lead to accountability through judicial prosecutions and convictions that match the extent of the horror committed by the perpetrators and their collaborators,” they added, as basis to urge Nkurunziza to step aside.

Today, Museveni opposed the idea of putting in place a caretaker government to run the country.

“I don’t like transitional government because it sends a bad signal about stability of the country,” the Ugandan leader observed.

He, however, said “Burundi needs democracy with security for all.”

The President emphasised that “politics is not about identity, but about social issues.”

Museveni said leaders must properly diagnose people’s challenges and propose effective remedies to foster inclusive development.

Militia

Another sticking issue was the role of paramilitary organization Imbonerakure in perpetrating a reign of terror in Burundi.

The opposition said despite the many accusations and requests from the International Community, Mr Nkurunziza and his clique have refused to dismantle Imbonerakure.

The militia has since been accused of attacking and killing opposition supporters.

The government yesterday told President Museveni that armed militias which had started committing acts of violence were disarmed.

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