On 22 January 2015, The Red Cross of Burundi (RCB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented a contingency plan to help with the 2015 election process.-By J.Berchmans Siboniyo
“We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We have written a contingency plan to prevent probable violence from occurring during or after the elections and to help the victims”, states Anselme Katiyunguruza, Secretary General of the Red Cross Burundi. He suggested that the troubles which arose in Burkina Faso prior to their election process in 2014, when their President, Blaise Compaoré wanted to change the constitution and run for a further term may be mirrored in Burundi. He illustrated with another example, following Kenya’s 2007 elections. Post electoral violence killed thousands and he stated his concern that this may also happen in Burundi. “People may very well campaign against the outcome of the elections and ignite violence”, he says.
Katiyunguruza mentions that the Red Cross planned to communicate with the national and the international community, and planned to prepare the hearts of the Burundi population and the workers of the RCB to view the up-coming elections as an opportunity to work together to help the vulnerable rather than a source of tensions and conspiracies among themselves.
Katiyunguruza assured that the RCB is well prepared for all outcomes. Their contingency planning includes training volunteers in first aids and in corpses’ evacuation with adapted equipments, throughout all the country. The contingency plan will commence operations whenever in excess of ten people have died, or over 100 people are displaced. Help from the RCB will also include provision of safe water in displacement sites, sheltering those displaced and removal of fatalities.