News / Africa

    Burundi Welcomes UN Delegation

    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.
    James Butty

    The Burundian government said it welcomes the visit to Bujumbura by members of the U.N. Security Council.

    Willy Nyamitwe, senior adviser to President Pierre Nkurunziza, said the United Nations delegation will discover that everything the international community has been hearing about the crisis in Burundi is false.  

    Nyamitwe said the visiting U.N. Security Council delegation will see for itself that Burundi is at peace as it tries to disarm certain individual who are trying to disturb peace in the country.

    “We welcome everybody who needs to come to Burundi and witness how far we’ve gone with consolidation of our national unity and the building or our peace," he said.

    UN delegation

    Nyamitwe’s comments came as a delegation from the U.N. Security Council left Wednesday for Burundi with a message for the government and opposition to start substantive dialogue and avert a catastrophe before it is too late.

    “This is a critical crossroads for Burundi,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told VOA ahead of the trip. “They cannot let it become business as usual that you wake up in the morning and there is a corpse on the street as you try to get to work, and that is what is starting to happen in Burundi.”

    It is the second time the Council has visited the country in less than a year  a clear indication of its growing concern about the escalating bloodshed.

    Nyamitwe said the people of Burundi have already started talking to each other through the inter-Burundian dialogue.

    “The government has set up a national commission in charge of this inter-Burundian dialogue. So, this commission has brought together Burundians from all the ethnic groups, all the political parties, from inside and outside the country to go and dialogue on all the issues regarding all the sectors of the country,” he said.

    East Africa Community-mediated peace talks that were scheduled to resume on January 6 in Uganda’s capital, Kampala, did not take place because the Burundian government said the date was set by mediators without consulting the government.

    The government is also on record as saying it will not negotiate with certain opposition figures who it considers as “coup plotters” or “sponsors of acts of terrorism.”

    Follow UN resolution

    Nyamitwe said any Burundian can be part of the dialogue as long as they adhere to U.N. Security Council resolution 2248, which calls on the government and all parties to reject violence and refrain from any action that threatens peace and stability.

    “Those who are killing innocent people, through bodies in the street, taking the pictures and spreading through the Internet in order to tarnish the image of the country, those are behaving as terrorists; those who are throwing grenades in bars and other public gatherings, those are terrorists,” Nyamitwe said.

    Jean Minani, the exiled leader of the Opposition Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) told VOA earlier this month that efforts toward a peaceful resolution of the Burundian crisis are not dead because the Burundian people want peace.

    But Minani said President Nkurunziza does not want to negotiate.

    “Nkurunziza is the cause of the crisis of Burundi. He’s afraid to come with all the people, with the international community to talk with us because there’s nothing to talk about. He can’t come to talk with us because he knows he has nothing to talk about,” Minani said.

    Last month, the African Union announced it would deploy a 5,000-member "prevention and protection" force to Burundi for an initial period of six months. Nyamitwe reiterated his government’s objection to the introduction of peacekeepers, saying it is non-negotiable.

    “The population of Burundi has said these troops are not needed. We trust our security forces; we trust our soldiers that they can protect the country’s borders, they can protect the civilians in Burundi, and so far they have never been defeated. All the attacks from outside the country have been defeated within two or three days,” he said.

    Nyamitwe said the AU troops should be send to neighboring Rwanda where he said Burundian refugees are being trained to destabilize the Burundian government.

    “We are blaming the government of Rwanda for allowing for allowing people to get military training in Rwanda because this cannot happen without the approval of officials in Rwanda, and this a violation of international law. You cannot take a refugee, someone who came to seek refuge in your country and transform him into a rebel,” Nyamitwe said.

    'Fact-finding mission'

    He said his government has complained to the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the African Union, and the U.N. Security Council.

    “We hope that this fact-finding mission from the Security Council will address this issue with Burundi saying that the evil is coming from the outside, not from the inside,” Nyamitwe said.

    Nyamitwe said his government has evidence of Rwanda’s involvement in the form of weapons seized from Rwanda and people who it said have been arrested.  

    Rwanda has repeatedly denied Burundi’s claims that Rwanda is providing refuge for Burundian rebels, an official reportedly saying that Burundi found it “convenient to find responsibility elsewhere.”

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora