Society

Two local CSOs dismiss Burundi financial partners’ concerns over current situation

CAPES+ and PISC Burundi, two local Civil Society Organizations, say they have already noticed an election fever and other ill-intentioned tactics by local and foreign partners that could disrupt peace and security on the eve of the 2020 elections.

“It is unbelievable to hear that not only Burundi government has restricted the media freedom but also has prevented media professionals from performing their daily activities freely”

Venant Hamza Burikukiye says the unfair and false condemnation by Burundi technical and financial partners constitutes one of their concerns. “It is unbelievable to hear that not only Burundi government has restricted the media freedom but also has prevented media professionals from performing their daily activities freely,” he says adding that about 20 media organizations do their daily activities without any obstacle.

Burundi technical and financial partners’ reactions were based upon feelings and opinions, says Mr Burikukiye.

In a statement issued on 5 April, Burundi financial and technical partners namely Canada, Germany, USA, Japan, France, EU, Belgium, Holland, UK, UN and Switzerland expressed their concerns about the Burundian government’s decision to ban completely BBC from broadcasting in Burundi as well as to extend the suspension for VOA. The partners invited Burundi to preserve a space for public debates for lasting democratic principles and make it stronger so that the 2020 elections become inclusive, free and fair.

On 29 March, Burundi National Media Regulator completely suspended BBC from broadcasting in Burundi due to BBC’s “slanderous” documentary while VOA is still suspended for hiring a Burundian journalist wanted by justice.

Burikukiye calls upon the Ministry of home Affairs and that of Foreign Affairs to follow closely the activities carried out by foreign NGOs that are supported by those Burundi technical and financial partners. “We need to know the origin of their funds. We don’t want to fail as we did in 2015,” says Burikukiye.