Opinion/Return of CNARED, a false debate

By Antoine Kaburahe

The opposition platform in exile-CNARED lashes out at the political journalist Agnès Ndirubusa and Iwacu newspaper after the publication of the article «CNARED or a homecoming notebook

The article did not please CNARED, given the tweets published by the platform. It does not matter. Before going any further, I would like to recall this beautiful quote of journalist Albert Londres who said that “our job is neither to please nor to harm”.

There is no reason to accuse the journalist of wanting to harm CNARED by mentioning a meeting between the platform and representatives of Gitega in Helsinki. First precision: Agnès Ndirubusa used the conditional form, a common practice in the profession when the journalist is not completely sure of the information, but has sufficient reasons to relay it.

Sometimes, for reasons that can be understood, governments and their opponents do not like that negotiations between them be known to the public. As a reminder, in the 96-98 years, Bujumbura long denied the least talks with the armed rebellion in San Egidio (Italy). The late Hitimana Mathias had to reveal the secret for Bujumbura to recognize the then secret meetings. Just as the Burundian army swore that it had never been in the DRC in the 1996-1998 years … There are numerous examples. It’s part of the political game.

Back to this article, the journalist writes that the question of return to the country “seems to no longer be taboo” for CNARED. How wrong is she? In a statement issued in mid-March, CNARED said it had adopted several strategies to get Burundi out of the crisis. The objective would be “to meet the demands of the moment” and reaffirm its commitment to democracy and elections as the only legitimate way of access to power, and “strengthening its presence and action within Burundi”. Isn’t it really clear?

Furthermore, Agnès Ndirubusa spoke with some of the CNARED big guns who told her that they wanted to “be in Burundi in 2020″. One of them (he will recognize himself) told her “he is tired of life in exile”. Moreover, to return is their most absolute right.

In my opinion, what they reproach her for is not having written that. But the “wrongness” of the journalist is rather having analyzed how CNARED members may” weigh little on the internal political scene, after she has recalled the little consideration they have today from their former comrades. “CNARED has become a club of friends and individuals with obscure aims and put aside the fight,” wrote our colleague Agnès quoting Léonidas Hatungimana, one of those who started the opposition platform in exile.

It is very easy to lash out at a journalist and media. But being criticized is part of the job. Agnès is a strong journalist and Iwacu has been through that before. For the rest, let’s give it time, the best judge.

The question of the return of CNARED is in reality a false debate. In fact, apart from this story of Helsinki (written in conditional form), CNARED did not debunk what the journalist wrote. That’s what is essential.

Translated into English by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana