Politicians diverge on message delivered by Catholic Bishops

Following the concerns raised by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi-CECAB on the prevailing situation in the country on the eve of Christmas Day, political leaders have differently welcomed the message delivered in different catholic churches.

Tatien Sibomana

Tatien Sibomana, spokesperson for the Coalition of Independents ‘Amizero y’Abarundi” says the Catholic Bishops delivered an important message which draws all details of the current situation throughout the country and how people including Christians and political leaders should behave.

“They strongly criticize the state secularism while people are now obliged to participate unwillingly in Mass celebration”, he says.

Sibomana says the Catholic Bishops urged the population to fight fear and avoid adhering again to ethnic division. “They have noticed that officials and political leaders don’t work for the interest of the population”, he says adding that the Catholic Bishops are even concerned about the slowness observed in the inter-Burundian dialogue.

As for Keffa Nibizi, chairman of FRODEBU Nyakuri Party, it is normal that Catholic Bishops gave their points of view on the current situation in the country. He, however, says the Catholic Bishops should differentiate biblical teachings from political issues. “Catholic Bishops should not worry about the inter-Burundian dialogue because dialogue has become a permanent way to find solutions to problems,” he says.

The chairman of FODEBU Nyakuri Party also says it is very early to judge the achievements of the new team of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Let them work and their activities will be judged afterwards. The first team didn’t achieve their goal due to the lack of sufficient financial means,” he says.

Concerning the lack of freedom of expression, Nibizi says it is guaranteed in Burundi despite that some improvements have to be made. “Political leaders have often expressed themselves without worrying that they will be arrested,” he says.