Burundi First Vice President calls for ‘ceasefire’ over political intolerance

In a meeting with leaders of political parties and provincial governors on August 22nd, the Burundian First Vice President has called on leaders of political parties to promote peace and the administration to be neutral.

Gaston Sindimwo (in the middle) calls for ceasefire over political intolerance

“We call for a ceasefire. Leaders of political parties should promote peace to avoid further political confrontations,” says Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi First Vice President.

He wishes that no more clashes among militants of political parties should be reported.
The administration must collaborate with the police to stop the criminals, he also says.
Mr. Sindimwo says peaceful coexistence among political leaders should serve as a good example to their followers.

“Political leaders should teach their members political tolerance to prevent clashes that might occur among them,” he adds.

He calls on all parties to participate actively in mixed security committees.
“Songs and slogans which insult other political parties or do not promote peace in the country should be avoided,” he adds.
For him, the administration, justice and security forces should not work on behalf of political parties.

He calls on provincial governors and communal administrators to be neutral.
As for Evariste Ndayishimiye, Secretary General of CNDD FDD party, he says political intolerance is caused by the fight for positions in state institutions.
“Some are afraid of losing their positions in the institutions and others want to maintain them,” he adds.

For him, political leaders should understand that being part of the state institutions is not a job but a service to the country.

He calls on the government of Burundi to discourage impunity. “Any administrative official who acts unfairly by not punishing criminals should be dismissed immediately,” he says.
Agathon Rwasa, Chairman of CNL party, says some administrative officials behave like members of political parties.

“Some of them are not neutral and use a discriminatory language,” he says, adding that CNL members are sometimes arrested when they are holding legal meetings.
Mr. Rwasa calls on the administration, security forces and justice to cease acts of vandalizing CNL offices.

The meeting was organized to evaluate the sociopolitical situation in Burundi.
It was held in the context where cases of political intolerance are reported in different areas of the country. A recent case is what happened in Muyinga province in the night of August 18th where a CNL member was killed and four wounded in an ambush staged by armed people.