Human Right

ONPGH calls on France not to interfere in Burundian affairs

“The National Observatory for the Prevention and Eradication of Genocide, War Crimes and Other Human Rights Crimes (ONPGH) condemns the statement made by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry stating that Tutsi ethnic minority is no longer protected in the new Constitution,” said Jean de Dieu Mutabazi, Chairman of ONPGH, in a press briefing on May 30, 2018.

Jean de Dieu Mutabazi: “France should avoid taking divisive positions that can stir up hatred among Burundian people”

Jean de Dieu Mutabazi: “France should avoid taking divisive positions that can stir up hatred among Burundian people”

He explains that constitutional law experts have already noted that the mechanisms of power sharing and protection of minorities agreed in the Arusha Peace Agreement have been preserved. Mutabazi accuses the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs of having claimed that the recent constitutional referendum held on May 17 was characterized by violence.

“The reports on the ground prove the contrary. That is bad faith and it is regrettable,” says Mutabazi adding that the ethnic balance is applied in important political institutions namely the National Assembly, Senate, government as well as in the defense and security forces.
“The ethnic quota provisions enshrined in the Constitution adopted in 2005 are preserved in the amended 2018 Constitution,” says Mutabazi. He calls on the French authorities to stop meddling in the affairs of Burundians. “France should avoid taking divisive positions that can stir up hatred among Burundian people,” he said.

In its statement, France regretted that the constitutional referendum held in Burundi on 17 May took place in a climate of intimidation, threats and violence against opponents to constitutional reform.

According to the French Foreign Affairs Ministry, the new Constitution contains amendments that violate the Arusha Agreement which set up an institutionalized system of power sharing between the Burundian community components and therefore calls into question the mechanisms to protect the Tutsi minority. “This reform will not help solve the crisis into which the country has plunged since 2015.” reads the statement released by the French Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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