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New Burundian Government Retains Key Ministers

  • James Butty

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza is sworn in for a third term at a ceremony in the parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza is sworn in for a third term at a ceremony in the parliament in Bujumbura, Burundi, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Monday announced a new government following his re-election to a controversial third term. Observers note several key ministers from the ruling CNDD-FDD party have been retained.

They include Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe, who told VOA recently Nkurunziza is ready to form a more inclusive unity government.

Innocent Muhozi, general manager of the banned independent Renaissance Radio and Television Network of Burundi, said the return of Alain Guillaume Bunyoni as Public Security minister suggests Nkurunziza wants to continue the crackdown on his critics.

“This new government, for me, is not a surprise because it includes the main figures of the former government, including the foreign affairs minister, the defense minister, and the finance minister. Then, there’s also the comeback of the former security minister, Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, who in the Hutu days was seen as one of the main figures of the ruling party and the government. So, it seems that it is a government of non-inclusion, but may be willing to fight against those they will have to confront,” he said.

The new government includes Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye as Defense Minister, Madame Aimee Laurentine Kanyana as Justice Minister, Tabu Abdallah Manirakiza as Finance Minister and Pascal Barandagiye as Interior Minister.

At his inauguration earlier this month, Nkurunziza promised a more inclusive government of national unity. He also said he would welcome a review of Article 129 of the constitution, which excludes parties with less than five percent of the vote from being part of a national unity government.

Muhozi said there is nothing inclusive about the new government. Instead, he said, the new government has become more repressive.

“I don’t see anything inclusive in this new government. As has been said by many observers, if you look at what is going on every day, people are arrested, people are tortured, people are disappearing and many people believe the police or the intelligence agency are responsible for those things. It is quite clear that what is going on is just a continuation of what has been going on,” Muhozi said.

Muhozi said it would be impossible to have a government of national unity at the moment in Burundi.

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