Fear politics in Burundi
- 30 June 2017
Pierre Nkurunziza, the president of Burundi - in power since 2005 despite a widely disputed this reelection - conducts an ever more repressive policy, strongly restraining freedom of expression and opposition in the country.
The UN has registered around 200 disappearances since October 2016. Violence remains “invisible” since local independent NGOs can no longer work in the country. Last September, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations created an independent commission to investigate the nature of this violence. The members of the Commission were forbidden to carry out their investigation in the territory, and therefore have interviewed Burundian refugees in neighboring countries such as Tanzania, Uganda or even the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have gathered hundreds of testimonies. The objective of this tedious work is to elaborate a report stating the dramatic situation in Burundi to ensure that these crimes become reprehensible by the international community. The government has already declared this approach as misleading and conspiratorial.
The Burundian youth is not spared from this fear politics led by the government. A presidential decree aimed at reorganising the university scholarship system generated a large student protest. The students expressed their will to a dialogue by were not heard by the authorities and were subjected to a strong repression. Some of them were arrested for threatening the security of the state under the pretext of destabilising the institutions.