main opposition FRODEBU party has welcomed calls by the African Union (AU) President
on Pierre Nkuruniziza's government to implement fully a ceasefire
agreement signed almost two years ago. The agreement signed between the
government and the last rebel Forces for National Liberation (FNL) ended more
than a decade of ethnic conflict that has reportedly killed over 300-thousand
people. The African Union's Peace and Security Council expressed its deep
concern over what it said was the governments procrastination and delaying
tactics that continues significantly to affect implementation of a
Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.
Government troops and the
rebel FNL have clashed periodically despite the deal signed in September 2006,
which became stalled over the issue of how to deal with demobilized fighters.
From the capital, Bujumbura, FRODEBU spokesman Pancreas Cimpaye tells reporter
Peter Clottey that President Nkurunziza's government is refusing to heed the
African Union's call.
"Basically the Palepehutu
FLN is accusing the government, that it is the responsibility of government to
move forward with implementation of the peace process, especially when you are
talking about power-sharing. Every day the Palepehutu FNL is accusing the
government that it is refusing to sit and talk about the power sharing deal,"
He claims President
Nkurunziza's government is refusing to implement the power sharing agreement
fully because of its dislike for a possible defeat in free and fair elections.
"You know that the
government is nowadays afraid of elections. So now, he (President Nkurunziza)
doesn't like another party to come to power. That is why when some of the
parties asked to join the peace process, the ruling CNDD-FDD party refused
them, and especially, the Palepehutu FNL, which as an armed group maybe can
cause a lot of problems in the 2010 elections. Maybe that is the reason why the
government is trying to delay so that we can go to the election without the
Palepehutu FNL," he said.
Cimpaye said the government
has refused to engage other opposing parties in the peace process with the
rebel FNL group.
"Unfortunately, the FRODEBU
party and other parties are somehow not involved in the whole process. Now,
they are trying to keep FRODEBU and other parties outside of the process,
although we are represented in the national assembly. It means that we don't
know exactly what is happening; we have some information from the Palepehutu
FNL sometimes from the government, but not officially. Officially, the CNDD-FDD
wants to deal with that issue alone," Cimpaye pointed out.
He said the government has
kept a tight lid on full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
"Even when our members in
the cabinet as the president questions concerning the implementation of the
ceasefire agreement, the head of state always answers that there is a technical
team that is dealing with the issue. But the technical team comprises mainly of
members or partisans of CNDD-FDD," he said.
Cimpaye said the opposition
party supports calls by the African Union for a full implementation of the
peace agreement with the rebels.
"Of course we support the
calls by the African Union, but more importantly, if we go into the election
without the rebels being disarmed and disarming the population, then FRODEBU
will lose. That is why we need the process to be finished as quickly as
possible, but we think that the CNDD-FDD would want to use this in the
election," Cimpaye said.
He said the opposition
parties are calling on the international community to help organize a credible
election in Burundi.
"We did call on the
secretary general of the UN so that they can push the government to try and
organize an independent and a democratic election without arms. And the
precondition is to implement the ceasefire agreement with the Palepehutu FNL,
which the government is failing to do," he said.