PISC Burundi/ CAPES+: “A fault confessed is half redressed”

Jean Marie Nduwimana and Hamza Venant Burikukiye, PISC Burundi and CAPES+ Legal Representatives respectively

Jean Marie Nduwimana and Hamza Venant Burikukiye, PISC Burundi and CAPES+ Legal Representatives respectively

The platform for Burundi civil society (PISC-Burundi) and the collective of associations of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS (CAPES+) have approached their members and agreed to create a favorable climate for a peaceful return of Burundian refugees.

The two civil society organizations’ leaders say the misinformed or manipulated people need to be sensitized through a methodology that would calm the minds in favor of national reconciliation and cohesion towards the preparation of the 2020 elections. The methodology comprises six stages namely a day of reflection and sensitization on the reality and value of forgiveness to which the various socio-political and professional strata will be invited, a contest of songs in favor of the return of Burundian refugees and reconciliation in Makamba province, commercials, sport activities between the repatriates and residents, messages on social networks and visits to exiled politicians and civil society leaders.

Hamza Venant Burikukiye, the legal representative of Capes+ says the campaign will last three months with the possibility of extension. “The indicator of success would be a full and voluntary return of Burundians and mass participation in the 2020 elections”, he says.

On behalf of PISC Burundi, Jean Marie Nduwimana says the platform seeks to end with impunity. “If someone is given a life sentence, the head of state may decide to offer them forgiveness. It is the same case for people who seek forgiveness, they should be given it. Burundian refugees must be forgiven to return home without any obstacle”, he says.

For him, all people should be involved in the new program to sensitize people to return home. “It is true that there are some who fled the country fearing for their security and others who did so to escape justice including the perpetrators of the failed coup. If they confess their crimes, they should be forgiven. We don’t promote impunity, but we prioritize forgiveness. A confessed fault is half redressed. We must do our best to avoid further bloodshed in the country. We need to reconcile and live in harmony”, says Nduwimana.