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Orign of fresh conflicts in Burundi


The resignations of three Tutsi ministers Communications Minister Leocadie Nihaza, Trade Minister Victoire Ndikumana and Uprona party District Development Minister Jean-Claude Ndihokubwayo followed an attempt by the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD, to force out Uprona party chairman Charles Nditije ahead of Burundi’s general elections scheduled for 2015, and replace him with a sympathiser.

Uprona Party is the only Burundian grouping other than the CNDD-FDD not to have boycotted the last 2010 general elections in Burundi. The other parties complained that the vote was marred by rigging.

Recently, Uprona had a vice-president in Bujumbura government, but he was removed by President Pierre Nkurunziza after he opposed his motive to change the constitution of Burundi to rule for life the way other African presidents like Gen. Yoweri Museveni of Uganda have done.

Uprona party of recent has become very critical of the ruling party and President Nkurunziza over sensitive issues such as his plan to rule for life, the revision of the constitution and the distribution of land to only people of his Hutu tribe the way President Robert Mugabe is doing in Zimbabwe.

Political observers see the current crisis in Burundi as having been sparked by Nkurunziza’s desire to stay on in office despite a constitutional limit set at two presidential terms. Civil society leaders in Burundi say that President Nkurunziza is ready to do anything to remain in power including killing some of his political opponents.

Tensions over land are also high in over populated Burundi, where hundreds of Hutus and Tutsis returning from exile claim ownership of the same pieces of land. The Burundi government body tasked with resolving land disputes is also accused of a pro-Hutu bias. The constitution of Burundi guarantees power sharing between the Hutu majority, which represents 85 percent of the population, and the Tutsi minority. The presidential spokesman of President Nkurunziza, Willy Nyamitwe confirms that there is crises and political misunderstandings in Burundi. Political observers warn that the political crisis started by Nkurunziza could escalate.


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