Burundi: Police State, State of Emergency- Police and Government Go Wild and Rogue, People Die to Sa

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    Burundi: Police State, State of Emergency- Police and Government Go Wild and Rogue, People Die to Save Democracy.


    25th April 2015 will be remembered in human history and democracy as a black day in Burundi when the party CNDD-FDD decided to go against the constitution and the will of the people and declared Pierre Nkurunziza the incumbent President of Burundi as their candidate for the presidential election due 26 June 2015.

    According to article 21 of the universal declaration of human rights: “ the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures”.

    The 2005 Constitution premised on the historic agreement for peace and reconciliation among Burundians signed in Arusha, Tanzania in August 2000, limits the presidential mandate to one term renewable only one time.

    Burundians expressed this will twice in 2005 and 2010 and voted for Pierre Nkurunziza as President. In the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace Accord, the post transition President has to be elected by the parliament. By electing Pierre Nkurunziza as President, the members of parliament exercise the will of the people as their representatives.

    Twice in the history of democratic elections, Pierre Nkurunziza has been sworn in as President with the Constitution in his hands. By choosing to stand for elections for a third term, he chose to be on the side of the illegality.

     In a bid to exercise their constitutional rights to refuse this usurpation of democracy by a handful of people who have high jacked the common good from the people of Burundi, the people decided to exercise their will to prevent Pierre Nkurunziza to change democracy into rent-seeking politics.

    On 26th April 2015, men, women, boys and girls armed with their will and self-determination to stand for the time-tested ideals  of freedom, liberty, equality and the rule of law invested the streets of the City Capital Bujumbura to say NO TO 3rd TERM.

    The police and associated militia Imbonerakure met the demonstrators with tear gas, water cannon and live bullets. For the time being, it is claimed that 5 civilians have been shot dead by the police. On the 30th of April an individual driving along the vehicle from the State intelligence unit shot dead a soldier on duty while defending life and property. In democratic and lawful societies, arbitrary deprivation of life is unlawful and those who commit such crimes should face justice and pay for their criminal acts. Time will tell if Burundi is an outcast among the community of Nations.

    600 civilians have been arbitrarily arrested allegedly suspected of taking part in the peaceful and lawful demonstrations. Some are held in police custody while others are sequestered in intelligence unit. In lawful societies, those individuals should be promptly brought before the judge to decide on the legality of their arrest. If proven guilty they should be given the opportunity to defend themselves before an independent and impartial tribunal.

    The state is transforming into a police state. The drastic measures to silence the people and suppress their freedom of expression and peaceful assembly mirror the conduct of government during public emergencies threatening the life of the nation. Yet there is nothing that threatens the life of the nation when people demand their constitutional rights to be governed by legal institutions.

    There is nothing that justifies the emergency-like measures to shut down private media, cut down telephone lines serving areas believed to be inhabited by demonstrators and deprive millions of citizens of their right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” as recognized by article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    There is however emergency measures to be taken by the government through the ministry of defense to defend innocent civilians who are being preyed upon by rogue elements of the police and their associated militias. Children as young as 15 are sprayed with live bullets. With their hands in the air they get bullets in the hearts. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

    The Public Prosecutor has set up an inquiry commission to investigate what he calls “acts of insurrection against the government.” Members of the commission are none other than servants of the same institutions that seek to institutionalize illegality at the State House. Such commission adds to other illegal and unpopular measures to quell the demonstrations by force and silence forever voices of freedom and justice.

    The government has set up a Commission to oversee the demonstrations. Again such commission adds to the illegal measures to track down symbols of resistance against oppression and illegality. Members of this commission are drawn from the police, intelligence, presidential guard, who are living testimonies of the brutality, extrajudicial killings and disappearances that have been rocking the nation for the last 10 years.

    Now is the time to stand firm and defend the rights of the people to be ruled by those who are on the side of the law. Now is the time to refuse the police brutality and oppose non-violence to the state-sponsored violence whereby taxpayers are killed by those they pay and the guns they buy with sweat labor.

    Nothing even death will stand on the way to freedom and liberty. Liberty is never granted; it is fought for by courageous men and women who take the sacrifice to see freedom and liberty reign even at the price of life. There is no leadership without casualty. The darkest hours are before dawn. But there is already light at the end of the tunnel.



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