CNL, new party of Rwasa

The Ministry of the Interior approved, on Thursday, February 14, the National Congress for Liberty “Ubugabo si urucumu” party of Agathon Rwasa. Outburst of joy on the opposition side.

Suspense is over now. The Minister of the Interior issued an ordinance No. 530/237 approving the new party. Since last September, ex-members of Amizero y’Abarundi coalition fraction-FNL had crossed fingers. After their case was submitted to the Ministry of the Interior, many changes such as the change of the name, motto, emblems, etc. were required. Agathon Rwasa was quick to work on them.
The second political force of the country finally has a political party. The National Front for Liberty-Amizero y’Abarundi, FNL Amizero y’Abarundi has now become the National Congress for Freedom Ubugabo si urucumu.

The news was quickly confirmed by Agathon Rwasa: “We welcomed this legal recognition of our party with satisfaction.” He spoke of that recognition after several years of persecution and arbitrary arrest. “The law recognizes our party now. No more obstacles,” he said
The current boss of CNL party has several projects in mind. Very soon, they’ll have to organize themselves quickly within the party, meet members, set up bodies in accordance with the party rules, hold meetings and prepare for the 2020 elections.
Mr Rwasa does not exclude the hypothesis that other people should join his new party. “Every Burundian has a role to play.”


Jean De Dieu Mutabazi: “He is welcome ”


” At the level of our political party, it is good that the party of Agathon Rwasa is approved. It’s welcome to other opposition parties,” reacted Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, president of the Rally of the Democrats of Burundi (RADEBU). He asks other politicians in exile to follow his example. ” May they return to engage in politics and prepare together for the 2020 elections. “A free competition, which will, according to him, be democratic, inclusive and peaceful.



Pierre Claver Nahimana: “A very good thing”

“This is good news in the Burundian political arena,” said the president of FRODEBU party. Mr. Nahimana recalls that Agathon Rwasa is an important politician in Burundian. In turn, he says, the approval of his party is a step forward. He however adds: “The approval of a party is one thing. The exercise of political freedom is another.” The chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU insists on this second step. “We wish that this approval should be a prelude to the political freedom of other parties”.


Pancrace Cimpaye : “Good news but …”

“It is good news that Honorable Agathon Rwasa was finally able to obtain this legal framework which will facilitate him to carry on his political struggle,” said Pancrace Cimpaye, political opponent in exile. Nevertheless, he remains convinced that this is not in any way a precursor to change. ” The real change will come when all political parties have the right and freedom to exercise their political rights.
“For him, we talk about change when there is an environment for refugees to return home and join a political party of their choice.



September 12, 2018 Agathon Rwasa organized a General Assembly in Bujumbura to produce a document seeking approval of FNL-AMIZERO Y’ABARUNDI National Front for Freedom Party.
– September 13, 2018 : Jacques Bigirimana, president of FNL party, sent a letter to the Ministry of the Interior whose subject was “Protest against usurpation of name, symbol and emblems.”
According to him, the name chosen by Rwasa is exactly like that of FNL party. Mr. Bigirimana added that Amizero is the official greeting slogan of his party. He also pointed out that the distinctive signs, the flag with the red, green and black colors and the emblem in the center symbolized by the hoe and bow and the motto belong to FNL party since its approval in 2009. He also said Agathon Rwasa’s goal is to start a conflict and try to trap the Ministry of the Interior. He asked the Ministry to pay attention to these concerns and arguments in the analysis of the file.
– September 14, 2018 : Agathon Rwasa submitted an application for approval of his party FNL-AMIZERO Y’ABARUNDI.
November 8, 2018 : The Minister of the Interior rejected the approval of his party and asked him to comply with the law. ” The acronyms, emblems and motto of the party are similar to those of an already approved political party,” said the Minister.
-November 12, 2018: Agathon Rwasa submitted a document containing the answers to the request of the Ministry of the Interior. It is on that very day that he submitted another file of application for approval, according to his friends.
-December 28, 2018: During a public conference, in Ngozi, the President of the Republic assured that the ball was in Rwasa’s court.” In case of compliance with the law, legal recognition would follow shortly. It would be possible even the following day. “
In response to this statement, Aimé Magera, spokesman for Agathon Rwasa, said that the same day that the file met all the legal requirements.

Written by Agnès Ndirubusa, Egide Nikiza, Igor Giriteka and Rénovat Ndabashinze
and translated by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana