Makala ya Msaidizi wa Nyerere, Mandela mgogoro wa Burundi

Manyerere Jackton

JF-Expert Member
Dec 11, 2012
"Ukuri Kuvungira Ahagaragara" (The Truth Must Be Told in Public)

Support given by the ordinary citizens and governments of Africa for the peace process, conflict resolution and reconciliation efforts in Burundi has been immeasurable in terms of material, political, financial and moral contribution!

Now African small farmers and impoverished under resourced villages and municipalities are once again having thrust upon them the burden of providing security, shelter and sustenance for citizens of Burundi who, as direct consequence of a politician's avaricious and ill-advised grab for power, are forced to flee as refugees once again!

The political power play by President Nkurunziza of Burundi to stand for a third term is a betrayal of the spirit and the letter of the ‘Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi and the constitution of Burundi.

President Nkurunziza's maneuver is an insult and affront to the peoples and governments of East and Central Africa. It is an insult and desecration of the work, memory and legacy of Presidents Julius K. Nyerere and Nelson R. Mandela.

It is an insult to the work and efforts of the African Union and the continent of Africa overall. It is a crime against the democratic aspirations of the women, children and men of Burundi!

Article 7 of the Peace Agreement -The Executive - Paragraph 1, Section (a) states: "The Constitution shall provide that, save for the very first election of a President, the President of the Republic shall be elected by direct universal suffrage in which each elector may vote for only one candidate. The President of the republic shall be elected by an absolute majority of votes cast. If this majority is not obtained in the first round a second round shall follow within 15 days.

Section (c) of Paragraph 1 states: For the first election, to be held during the transition period, the President shall be indirectly elected as specified in article 20, Paragraph 10 below. Article 20, Paragraph 10 states: The first post-transition President shall be elected by the National Assembly by a majority two-thirds of the votes; Paragraph 3 article 7 states: She/he shall be elected for a term of five years, renewable only once. NO ONE MAY SERVE MORE THAN TWO PRESIDENTIAL TERMS!

The Burundi Peace and Reconciliation Agreement was signed on August 28 2000. It was signed by President Pierre Buyoya representing the government of Burundi together with the National Assembly and political parties that included: Alliance Burundo-Africaine Pour le Salut (ABASA), Alliance Nationale pour le Droit et le Developpment (ANADDE), Alliance des Valliants (AV-INTWARI), Consiel National pour la Defense de la Democratie (CNDD), Front pour la Democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU), Front pour la Liberation Nationale (FROLINA), Parti Socialiste et Panafricaniste (INKINZO), Parti pour la liberation du Peuple Hutu (PALIPEHUTU), Parti pour le Redressement National (PARENA), Parti Independent des Travailleurs (PIT), Parti Liberal (PL), Parti du Peuple (PP), Parti pour Reconciliation du Peuple (PRP), Parti Social-Democrate (PSD), Ralliement pour la Democratie et le Developpment Economique et Social (RADDES) Rassemblement du Peuple Burundias (RPB) and Union pour le Progress National (UPRONA).

The Cosignatories included: H.E. Nelson Rolihalna Mandela Facilitator, President Yoweri Kagua Museveni of Uganda, President Daniel T. arap Moi of Kenya, and President Benjamin W. Mkapa of Tanzania, Mr. Kofi Annan Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Salim A. Salim Secretary General of the OAU, Charles Josselin representative of the European Union, and Mr. Joseph W. Butiku Executive Director of the Mwailmu of the Nyerere Foundation.

Witnesses among others included: General Gnassingbe 'Eyadema, President of Togo and Chairman of the OAU, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, Sylvester Ntibantunganya former presidents of Burundi, Dr. Butrous Butrous Ghali Secretary of la Francophonie, President Chissano of Mozambique, former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, Mr. Islam Gadhafi representing Libya and President William Jefferson Clinton of the United States of America and representatives of civil society, women's organizations and religious leaders of Burundi.

Reconciliation Governance and Democracy
There are several dimensions to the resolving conflict and reaching a peace agreement. An important aspect is the element of reconciliation. All parties to the talk including the military agreed that Burundian society had suffered economically, culturally, socially, environmentally and politically as a result of conflict. There was consensus amongst all that reconciliation was a central consideration if there were to be a lasting peace and social justice in a Democratic Burundi.

There was near universal agreement that adherence to the Peace and Reconciliation agreement and the constitution was essential to healing and rebuilding Burundi society and political structures.

Unfortunately, power intoxication, an ailment that often afflicts politicians, seems to have caused a lapse in understanding cause effect relationship between strict adherence to the peace agreement and constitution on the one hand and reconciliation, peace and stability on the other hand. The decision grab power by fiat is a manifestation of either a total absence of historical consciousness or total disregard and respect for life; or all the above!

Governance, as envisaged by the Facilitation team, was that political structures should reflect the social values of egalitarianism, mutual respect, collective work and social responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the Burundi society and state. Tolerance and honesty should be normative values substantiated by cultural sanctions. In the general debate on democracy and governance, many of the delegates registered their positions regarding governance, power and the collective nature of these ideas.

I have included some of those contributions taken from the transcripts and notes from the negotiation sessions of comments made by delegates and party representatives. The comments reflect values, beliefs, ideologies, cultural warrants and philosophical constructs that are rooted in the culture and symbols shared by the conflicting parties as well as the protagonists that constituted and supported the African Regional Initiative.

The delegates in their pronouncements also provide snapshots into the shared history of the conflicting parties and the basis for peace and reconciliation based on shared values and beliefs. I have intentionally not identified the person, ethnicity or the political party affiliation of the speakers.

'…Democracy and Governance for development will bring about political synergy that will guarantee the welfare to the people and bring prosperity and development for the people. We advocate a Democratic system as one of production and equitable distribution. We advocate a rational political approach, self-reliant education development.

We need to come up with a new spirit and behavior with the principles:
Respect for the basic choices of the people
Participation of all people
Improvement of health situation
Education for all

Establishment of powerful and Democratic institution accepted by all
Compromises arrived at through tolerance and understanding
Republic is not a word that is in the Burundi mind. A republic declared by soldiers is a dictatorial one that is not democratic.

Democracy is not just a matter of numbers it is respecting one another every day of your life… We had a system ‘inama kunama' whereby each week everyone met around the chief. They would tell him the problems or the plans of development.

Consultations between the authorities and the population took place. Democracy cannot come from the top. It can only be guaranteed from the top.

It is not lack of unity of the people but lack of good governance. The Hutu and Tutsi are not congenitally opposed with each other. It is these politicians who provoke the difference. It is the politicians, not the population that is responsible for the absence of peace in Burundi.

Personal exclusion was manifest at two levels. On one hand, individuals of the same clan ruthlessly eliminated one another from the helms of power... That explains the nature of the first coups. On the other hand, there was self-censorship by many refusing to take part in the political processes for fear of being assassinated or by self-imposed exile.

At the political level, the majority of the population did not participate in the political process. Decision-making is an exclusive monopoly of the oligarchy of the military and the political economic elite.

At the economic level, resources are unevenly distributed, with the majority of Barundi being economically marginalized. At the social level, social amenities such as education have been denied to the majority of people. All those levels of exclusion precipitate coups, assassinations, massacres, genocide, impunity and rebellions. Another factor that undermined democracy in Burundi was the psychology of negative post-independence history. The history has instilled fear, hatred, mistrust, and intolerance and diffidence.

'…An important aspect of reconciliation and conflict resolution in civil wars and internecine conflict is that the process needs to provide opportunity for the recovery or reconstitution of a shared identity and the consensus about a past…'

'…In our country the state is practically the only employer. The political game that gives access to material resources is a fact of life and death where the winner takes all and the looser loses all. For Burundi politicians the democratic game has been reduced to sharing the national cake. The people only serve as a springboard for the political class. Under this system democracy loses its identity as the river gets lost in the sea…'

We note that genocide is a tragic reality for Burundi and the Great Lakes. We undertake to prevent and repress the ideology and attitude of genocide. Good governance as far as we are concerned is inspired by altruistic principles. We advocate a decentralized system of power at the level of the collines, development that is self-reliant…'

'…In Africa, democracy was inspired by the spiritual component based within customary practices and the ethnic component identified by the system. Colonization used the monarchical style of government that it found in place to rule and divide. There was a lot of democracy in Burundi and we don't have anything to envy from the west. This democracy was based on the masses. Democracy is a state of mind. Democracy should allow people to live together and work together and tolerate one another. Western Style democracy is not necessarily applicable in countries with traditions like Burundi…

'…The colonial period was characterized by the absence of Democracy. In fact the domination of one people by another is the absence of democracy. During this period the colonial administration dominated all power…'.

'…We must do self-examination and correct errors of the past and give up these old practices that undermine democracy and good governance. We must have the working objective of establishing a national peace pact for justice and democracy…'.

‘We cannot ourselves be paralyzed by a hand full of foreign ideas of pseudo-ethnic groups of Tutsi/Hutu/Twa which is a racist idea. The Burundi followed what they were told by their colonial masters and they managed Burundi based on these pseudo-tribes and ethnicity…'

Human rights and freedom are essential for democracy. Freedom of thought, freedom of association, of enterprise in all sectors and branches is of vital importance. Barundi must be free actors in their own development and society. The role of economic and social development in strengthening democracy must be underscored and it must be shared equitably or else it will be a factor that will obstruct democracy. We need a liberating and reassuring democracy that enables everyone to develop her/his potential.

Such a state must be a state of Law and it must be people centered in organization and management and functioning. We should go back to our institutions and values of antiquity but making adjustments for the current situation…'

To conclude democracy is a complex process it should be progressive and participatory. With no social justice in Burundi there can be no lasting peace and no end to war. As a sign of good governance, justice must be transparent at the level of all institutions. People are central to all concepts of democracy. The people are the sole custodians of power; It should be participatory. No group of people no matter how important can rule without the mandate of the people.

To fully appreciate the betrayal of Africa and Burundi by the ambitions of Pierre Nkurunziza it will serve us well to briefly review the recent political history of Burundi in the aftermath of the Coup of 1993. This is important if we are to understand why the proposal for a third term is an unfortunate and disappointing throwback to an era that we had hoped Burundi politicians, and we as Africans, generally speaking, had jettisoned into the dust bin of history.

1993-94 was a year of defining events for Africa. One hundred and ten years after the infamous Berlin Conference that divided Africa and its people into colonial possession for the nations and people of Europe, the Organization of African Unity in its thirtieth ordinary session in Tunis, Tunisia passed a resolution bringing to a conclusion the mandate and the work of the OAU Liberation Committee.

This committee, headed by the late Brigadier General Hashim Mbita of Tanzania, had been charged with the mission of coordinating and supporting the struggle to rid Africa of colonialism. The successful completion of this Pan Africanist mission of democratization brought to an end an era of settler colonialism and statutory white supremacy on the continent of Africa.

In conjunction with this the OAU Summit in Tunis witnessed the admission of South Africa into the OAU as an independent African nation and also welcomed Nelson Mandela, after twenty-seven years in prison, as the first democratically elected president of a post-apartheid South Africa.

Sadly, however, this defining moment of liberation and self-determination occurred simultaneously with the genocide perpetrated in Rwanda between the months of April and September of 1994 and the civil war in Burundi that erupted in the wake of the military overthrow and assassination of the first democratically elected president of Burundi, Melchior Ndedaye in October 1993.

The irony and symbolic significance of these incidents occurring simultaneously for the most part was lost to most observers and drew very little public comment. The end of settler colonialism and statutory white supremacy in southern Africa was occurring simultaneously with developments in African governments designed to restructure the African state in line with the new paradigm of neo-liberal free market globalization.

The alterations in the relation between international financial institutions, western governments on the one hand and the people and governments of Africa on the other within the rubric of a strategic program codenamed, Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPS) exacerbated neo-colonial contradictions undermining the integrity and aspirations of the postcolonial national project.

We were witnessing the ending of an era of liberation wars against imperialism, settler colonialism and policies of racial white supremacy concurrently experiencing the horrors and destructive forces of the SAPS Neo-liberal Globalization Wars. The SAPS Globalization Wars characterized by politico-ethnic-interests-groups constituted as political parties and the lumpen-militariate fighting and struggling to manage the new dispensation of neo-imperialist, neo-liberal mechanisms euphemistically, and perhaps sardonically, referred to as democratization and free market enterprise.

The civil wars characterized by genocidal acts of mass murder, rape of women and children, criminal looting of resources and growing structural socio-economic disparity is a manifestation of this new dispensation and part of a military and social strategy to secure control of the market mandated nation state (Storey, 1999).

Currently, in the 21st century, as in the preceding three centuries there are both internal and external forces that work against the democratic participation of African communities in national and international policy formulation and implementation. As Pan Africanists activists and political thinkers began to confront the forces of globalization with its new forms of economic exploitation and cultural domination that engender and exacerbate social conflict in Africa a new politics began to emerge together with new conflicts.

Directly linked to the political sea change from neo-colonial states to transnational sub divisions of a neo-liberal corporate empire were the conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Somalia, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The struggle against President Mobutu's government by the ADFL aided by Rwanda and Uganda, perhaps in one of the most striking examples of narcissistic elitism gone wild, morphed into a tangle of conflicting and converging interests at local, regional and international levels of politics, military and economics.

The ascendancy of neo-liberal ideology as the global development doctrine imposed new conditions for development aid flows and foreign direct investment in Africa. These events together with growing demands from national citizenry for more equitable distribution of resources and access to basic rights coupled with the shifting dynamics of the international political economy of neo-liberal policies were to give gestation to new initiatives by African governments for creating conditions of peace. In a policy paradox, the changes demanded by transnational capital for a risk free investment climate, stability and security for investors are antithetical to those policies necessary to deliver to the majority people their demands and expectations of a democratic society (Blanton, Mason and Athow, 2001; Nhema, 2004; Bond 2005, 2006).

In response to the resulting conflicts and breakdown of social order throughout the continent in June 1993 the OAU heads of State in at their meeting in Cairo established the Mechanism for Conflict Resolution in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This was an effort to ensure that the Africa would play a central role in creating conditions for peace and stability on the continent,. This mandated the OAU with greater authority to intervene in national conflicts on the continent. This was precedent setting and a tremendous mind set change that the leadership was articulating.

In effect the framing of ‘national sovereignty' as had been held sacrosanct by the OAU since its inception in 1963 was scrapped. The people and not the government was where sovereignty was located became the new framing. There was also an assumed responsibility and an assumed common purpose. Declarations at Heads of State Summits in Cairo 1995, Tunis 1996 and Ouagadougou 1998 all substantiated the policy shift of the OAU and African states to intervene in the ever increasing conflicts across the continent.

There was now a clear institutional mechanism of support for actions by African governments' in their response to the crisis of conflicts. In several instances of intervention in conflicts African governments have also worked with or supported the efforts of private mediators as peace facilitators, for example, World council of Churches, All African Council of Churches, San Egidio and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (Weissman, 1998; Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation 1998-2000; Nhema, 2004).

Subsequently in the Great Lakes region of East and central Africa a loose confederation of the regional states that designated itself the ‘Regional Initiative' established a mechanism to bring about a solution to the conflict in Burundi and to reconcile the community. It was an endogenous African initiative substantiated by a shared-lived-experience of causes and dire consequences of conflict in the Great Lakes Region.

The Arusha Burundi Peace Negotiations (BPN) was truly a Pan African initiative to solve a major and long-term protracted conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa. The resultant peace agreement, the cease fire, the power sharing structure, the transitional government, the holding free and open elections in 2005 and the continued peace building and social reconstruction efforts are a positive indication of a peaceful future and a successful Pan African peace making endeavor (Weissman, 1998; Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation 1998-2000; Nhema, 2004).

The fact that the Facilitation process having been led by two of the 20th century's greatest statesmen, former presidents Julius K. Nyerere and Nelson R. Mandela, the Arusha Burundi Peace Negotiations was a reflection of their ideology, philosophies and commitment to African solutions to African problems. In conjunction with this the Burundi process remains unprecedented in terms of the array of international political and professional personalities it brought into the sphere of the peace process.

This pantheon of actors included presidents, former presidents, special envoys, senior advisors to governments and the United Nations, prime ministers attorneys general, Foreign Service professionals, ambassadors, former guerrilla army commanders and fighters, academics, Non-Governmental Organization and religious organizations.

The fact that Facilitation team and the regional supporters were able to overcome the many obstacles and difficulties of conflict resolution in a complex war accompanied by a complex emergency that engulfed an entire region and succeed in its objectives makes the Burundi Peace Process a phenomenon worthy of study. Lessons learned from the conflict and the peace and reconciliation process necessarily must be incorporated into the body of knowledge that underpins and informs conflict resolution, peace building and social development in Africa.

For a multiplicity of reasons, including effective impact, access to resources, international linkages and networks, and political leverage a strategy was created that utilized different NGO and international aid agencies' projects, organizational networks and structures in the countries throughout the region and Europe as well as their connections with other international agencies and funding networks so as to mobilize support for the regional African initiative.

An organic and amorphous Pan Africanist entity called the African Open forum was created that allowed the Regional Initiative to link into and access civil society and the international community in a non-governmental context. Likewise it became a mechanism for the Civil Society organizations and actors in the region to access government in the common purpose of peace and reconstruction.

Its operating principals were Pan African cooperation support for African initiatives, indigenous institution building peace, unity and people centered development. This network of civil society and Pan African organizations was critical in maintaining regional and international support for the Burundi Peace Negotiation process under Nyerere and President Mandela and the ‘Regional Initiative'.

At this incipient stage of the coup d'etat byShould-be-Outgoing-President Pierre Nkurunzinza's ‘Return-to-Yesterday' strategy the peoples and states of the East African Region and the African Union have the responsibility and the earned mandate to denounce and withhold legitimating this anti-Barundi, anti-peace, anti-reconciliation, anti-democratic, anti-African criminal avarice! The leaders of the East African Community must be cognizant of the costs in terms of life, disrupted development, disrupted commerce, increased regional insecurity and the undermining of regional and continental unity and progress these rogue actions taken by Should-be-Outgoing-President Pierre Nkurunzinza are causing.

The East African Community, the African Union and all Pan Africanists should in no uncertain terms reject this Coup d'etat to overthrow the constitution of Burundi, the Burundi Peace and Reconciliation Agreement and the will of the peoples and governments of Africa.

Pan Africanist principles of social justice and the peoples' primacy unity must prevail! The harm done to the people, resources and social economic structures of Burundi is harm done to all African peoples. The corruption of political processes, subsequent abuse and destruction of life and livelihoods should not find protection with any empty anachronistic claims of government and state sovereignty. Sovereignty resides with the people not the government.

Rogue actions to usurp the people's sovereignty are universally and collectively rejected by the citizens of Africa. Legitimacy of government is derived from the consent of the people not the usurpation of their power, the violation of their liberties and corrupt disregard for right to life and social justice.

‘The basic problem in Burundi is the lack of patriotic and visionary leadership. Instead we have individuals who wrest power for their own interests against all the people... We all know they want to stay in power.' (Burundi delegate statement during debate on democracy and governance)

Ikaweba Bunting
Prof. Ikaweba Bunting was the Rapporteur General of the Burundi Peace Facilitation team and Coordinator for Programme and Institutional Development for the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation.

He is currently Professor of Political Science and Sociology at El Camino College Compton, California and adjunct Professor in African American Studies at Loyola Mary Mount University of Los Angeles California


JF-Expert Member
Dec 21, 2012
Ingawa simuungi mkono Pierre Nkurunziza kuhusu azima yake ya kung'ang'ania madaraka ya uraisi nchini Burundi, jambo moja ni dhahiri kwamba unyonge wa Wahutu mbele ya Watutsi umepungua kama siyo kuisha huko Burundi. Kazi kwao Wahutu wa Rwanda.
Waswahili tunasemaga ukiona kobe kainama ujue anatunga sheria. Watutsi wa Burundi wakishirikiana na wenzao wa Rwanda pamoja na vibaraka wa kihutu, wanajiandaa kuhakikisha wanarudisha enzi za ubabe wao dhidi ya wahutu.


JF-Expert Member
Jun 24, 2009
Ingawa simuungi mkono Pierre Nkurunziza kuhusu azima yake ya kung'ang'ania madaraka ya uraisi nchini Burundi, jambo moja ni dhahiri kwamba unyonge wa Wahutu mbele ya Watutsi umepungua kama siyo kuisha huko Burundi. Kazi kwao Wahutu wa Rwanda.
Waswahili tunasemaga ukiona kobe kainama ujue anatunga sheria. Watutsi wa Burundi wakishirikiana na wenzao wa Rwanda pamoja na vibaraka wa kihutu, wanajiandaa kuhakikisha wanarudisha enzi za ubabe wao dhidi ya wahutu.

Spot on, na hicho ndicho kinacho endelea nyuma ya pazia.

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