An inclusive inter- Burundian dialogue, which responds in part, to the demands of the international community , a willingness to extradite certain ” dialogue attendees ” a disagreement with the mediation … Will Bujumbura keep its promises ? By Elyse Ngabire, Rénovat Ndabashinze and Edouard Madirisha translated by Diane Uwimana
In a document signed on 12 October 2015 but made public on the 20th October, the Attorney General of the Republic requested the extradition of twelve Burundians being on Belgian territory.
According to Valentin Bagorikunda, it is under the instruction of the file RMPG 697 / MA (open “for charges against those who tried to change the constitutional regime on 13th May 2015”
He asked the Minister of Justice to use diplomatic channels to exhort the Belgian authorities to extradite the wanted persons by Burundian justice.
On the top of the list come the Human rights activist, Pacifique Nininahazwe, chairperson of Forum for Awareness and Development (Focode), Vital Nshimirimana, President of the Forum for Strengthening Civil Society (FORSC) and Marguerite Barankitse, patron of Shalom house.
On the same list, there are political leaders grouped in the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and the rule of law in Burundi.
This is Alexis Sinduhije, chairperson of the MSD party Chauvineau Murwengezo, honorary president of the UPD, Pancrace Cimpaye, spokesperson of the ADC Ikibiri (in Diaspora) and Catherine Mabobori, former spokesperson to the first deputy Presidency of the Republic.
Also recalcitrant’s CNDD-FDD like Gervais Rufyikiri, former second vice president of the Republic, Pie Ntavyohanyuma, former president of the National Assembly, Evariste Nsabiyumva, former cabinet director at the Ministry of Local Affairs and Felix Ndayisenga, former Ambassador of Burundi in Belgium. The Former Minister of National Defence, Pontien Gaciyubwenge is also concerned by the measure of 12 October 2015.
Cnared: “Extension of repression”
“This request of the Prosecutor General Attorney of the Republic of Burundi is a continuation of a broad crackdown on opposition leaders and civil society opposed the third Nkurunziza’s term,” reacted Jeremie Minani, spokesperson of the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and the rule of law in Burundi (Cnared).
Also as a proof, that the government of Burundi does not want an inclusive dialogue to end the chaos caused by this third mandate. Thus, the CNARED accounts for approaching the Belgian authorities to ask them not to cooperate with Bujumbura. Minani recalls that this was done when “Illegal” power asked the Interpol to arrest some members of CNARED.
UPRONA: “Sabotage the perspective dialogue”
« It is a headlong rush to cripple the negotiations,” said Tatien Sibomana, the National Union for Progress (UPRONA) official, wing led by Charles Nditije and not recognized by Bujumbura. According to him, the request of the Attorney General of the Republic is invalid because it does not specify the offense that weighs against these different personalities. All opposition in exile cannot be put in the same pot. Sibomana gives the example of Pie Ntavyohanyuma, former president of the National Assembly, exiled after helping the CNDD-FDD to replace the resigners of the CENI or the Constitutional Court. It is a proof that the justice is subservient to the executive. This opponent is convinced that Belgium will not consider this request. For, he assured, the country is aware of injustice, human rights violations, target killings, etc., that Burundian are victims.
Bujumbura at the search of the AU support to track the instigators of the coup
“The government expected from the AU the necessary support to the perpetrators of the failed coup of 13 May, in exile, be extradited and judged,” could we read in a statement issued on 20 October, signed by Philippe Nzobonariba Secretary General and spokesperson of the government. Support also considered essential to track down the instigators of the insurrection who recruited youths into armed violence. Bujumbura recalls that the offense is considered a crime against humanity anywhere in the world. Once extradited, the government guarantees them a fair trial.
Dialogue inter-Burundian :Between inclusive and exclusive
In requesting the extradition of a dozen of Burundians located in Belgium, Burundi government seems to swim against the tide of an inclusive political dialogue advocated by the African Union.
The Council of Peace and Security of the African Union adopted a position on the situation in Burundi on 17 October. He has requested the early convening of a dialogue in Kampala or Addis Ababa, involving all Burundian stakeholders, including those who are outside the country. A position supported by the United Nations, the European Union, Belgium, the USA and the UK.
In Bujumbura, the reaction is lightened. For the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, “it is absolutely right to raise the question whether this decision was not dictated or at least inspired by others.” He accepts this dialogue, but stated that the choice of town must be negotiated: “We are ready to meet all Burundians, whether in Burundi or abroad, provided that the goal is peace. We are very sorry that they impose a town, this is inappropriate because here, even the city is an issue of discussion, of negotiations under discussion and the negotiation.”
For its part on its side, the Cnared (National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and the rule of law in Burundi) welcomed the decision of the AU. It supports the proposal for inter-Burundian negotiations under the mediation of President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala or Addis Ababa and in which they are ready to actively participate.
Appointment at Kampala…
Kampala announces resumption of this dialogue in November 2015 in the Ugandan town. According to the spokesperson of the Ugandan government, the preparatory meetings to establish a list of attendees have started since 19 October. Yet, Bujumbura expressed surprise; especially since the Burundian government has contacted the Ugandan mediation and the latter did not mention those meetings. “We have always wanted to work in transparency. What we do at domestic level should be as broad and as inclusive as possible, including with people abroad. But this is done without secretiveness,” said the Minister by adding: “what is done without us is absolutely against us.” And in the process, the General Attorney of the Republic requested the extradition of some Burundians who are in Belgium to be judged in Burundi.