Children’s right activist worries about children involvement in politics

A video showing schoolchildren dressed in ruling CNDD-FDD uniforms singing hatred songs has been circulating on social networks these days. The chairman of the federation of associations fighting for children rights FNADEB says these children are exposed to political conflicts.

Youths affiliated to the ruling CNDD-FDD singing

Youths affiliated to the ruling CNDD-FDD singing

The video that has appeared since the end of last week shows young schoolchildren dressed in the ruling party’s uniform singing. They repeat certain refrains started by a young person, member of the youth wing of CNDD-FDD.

“We have not forgotten the tragic past of Burundi. We know very well what happened successively in 1965, 1972 and 1988. We are also aware of the tragic event of 1993, when President Malchior Ndadaye was murdered and thousands people were killed,” say schoolchildren.

They also call on their comrades to join the CNDD-FDD party.

Jacques Nshimirimana, Chairman of FNADEB says he is deeply concerned about the security of those children. “The children are being manipulated. They have not reached yet the age of joining political parties. They risk being victims of their political affiliation since CNDD-FDD opponents will consider them as their enemies,” Nshimirimana says.

For the chairman of FNADEB these children are exposed to political conflicts.

He says that Burundi has signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child since 1990. If children had been victims of political manipulation before 1990, Burundi had not yet signed the convention.

“We saw children who were enrolled in political movements like the Rwagasore Revolutionary Youth (JRR) affiliated with UPRONA, the ruling party at the time,” he says

For him, a country signatory to the convention is committed to always protecting children and especially during the war period. “The country must actually prevent children from taking part in political rallies,” says Nshimirimana.

Nshimirimana says these children have used harsh words. “If one of those children was asked to tell what really happened in 1965, he/she cannot have what to say because he/she does not know anything. Children are innocent; they ignore the danger they are running,” says Nshimirimana.

He reminds politicians that they have a duty to protect children from any danger.

Nancy Ninette Mutoni, the Communication Officer within the ruling party says CNDD-FDD cannot react on that video.