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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Burundi urges its former colonizers to pay compensation

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Saturday urged its former colonizers Germany and Belgium to pay compensations to the country for damages caused during the colonial rule.

The remarks were made at Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in the capital Bujumbura during the celebration of the east African country’s 55th independence anniversary.

“Burundi’s former colonial powers (Germany and Belgium) should admit atrocities made on Burundi and its people during the colonial rule. They should then apologize for those atrocities and compensate us (Burundi),” Nkurunziza said at the independence anniversary celebrations.

Nkurunziza underlined that neocolonialism still exists, adding that some Burundian betrayers are collaborating with them.

“This is a warning. Troublemakers who cooperate with neocolonialists will not succeed their mission here in Burundi if we continue to be united,” Nkurunziza said.

He blamed tribalism and ethnic problems on colonialists.

The president also gave awards to Burundian citizens and foreigners for their outstanding achievements to safeguard “independence gains.”

These include ambassadors of China, Tanzania and Kenya, for their support to Burundi during the country’s “hard times” in 2015 when there were reports “tarnishing” the country’s image.

This year’s Independence Day is themed with “Unity and peace building are the right way to independence consolidation.”

Burundi grabbed independence from the Belgian colonial rule on July 1, 1962. The east African nation had been colonized by Germany before World War I.

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EARLIER REPORTS:

East African leaders urged to help end Burundi stalemate

NAIROBI Burundi (Xinhua) -- The East African Community (EAC) leaders were on Tuesday urged to pool together and initiate dialogue with the Burundi leaders to end the stalemate in the country.

Deo Hakizimana, President of the Independent Centre for Research and Initiatives for Dialogue (CIRID), a Geneva-based civil society organization, called on leaders of the regional bloc to work together to solve the stalemate through dialogue to save citizens from suffering.

“The EAC is a respected strong bloc hence the need for the leaders in the region to strongly come out and engage the Burundian leadership and the opposition in solving the long standing misunderstanding in the country,” Hakizimana said in Nairobi during the launch of Macky Sall Prize for Dialogue in Africa (PMSDA) in Kenya.

The tiny central African nation has been in the midst of a political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term earlier in April 2015. Since then several people have been killed, with the toll possibly considerably higher, and 250,000 have fled to neighbouring States with many others internally displaced.

The UN has warned of a relapse into full-fledged civil war, calling the government to take all necessary steps to disarm pro-government militias and bring operations of the police, intelligence services and other security forces under the mantle of the law.

The Burundi diplomat, who has been involved in peace initiatives, said that Africa is not rich in resources alone but has a wide range of bright people that could help solve internal problems faster.

The 57,000 U.S. dollar prize will be awarded annually to honor and encourage all initiatives related to political and social dialogue in Africa.

It is destined to address a significant message to support and relay African Union (AU), regional and sub-regional organizations efforts including the Diaspora.

The prize has been introduced following President Sall’s involvement in dialogue to promote peace in countries across Africa.

Hakizimana played a key role in ending a conflict in Burkina Faso following a misunderstanding between Michel Kafondo, former Foreign Minister of Burkina Faso and then President of the Transitional Authority in 2015.

As the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), he led the regional bloc and re-established the Burkina Faso Transitional Authority with the support of the ECOWAS security institutions.

In February 2016, he was appointed by the African Union Commission (AUC) to represent West Africa in the High Level Delegation to solve the Burundi’s post 2015 political crisis.

He also played a role in the 2017 Gambia post electoral crisis and contributed to the return of President-elect Adama Barrow that restored constitutional order in the Gambia.

Hakizimana said that institutions should be respected so that rule of law is followed to help arrest conflicts in the continent.

The inaugural Macky Sall Prize in Africa for Dialogue that will be awarded in September 2017 at the United Nations in Geneva by President Sall, is organized by CIRID.

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Burundian president calls for financial contributions to 2020 elections

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Friday urged citizens to make financial contributions to the country’s 2020 elections.

“Considering situations that Burundi went through since 1961, we need to prepare well our 2020 general elections and other elections to come with regards to the financial aspect without requesting financial assistance from international partners,” said Nkurunziza.

He said that some countries actually feel “pleased when Burundi undergoes a crisis” so that they can come and “snatch” the country’s wealth.

“Those countries are glad when we (Burundian citizens) are facing crises because they are sure that we will continue to be beggars,” Nkurunziza said.

He said an account has been opened at the Burundi Central Bank where donors can make financial contributions for the east African country’s 2020 general elections.

He also requested that other banking and financial institutions cooperate with the central bank to facilitate transactions for those who want to deposit their contributions.

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Head of Burudian school arrested over owning firearms

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- A headmaster of a secondary school in Mugamba district in Bururi province, 80 km south of the Burundian capital Bujumbura, was arrested Sunday over owning firearms, the Burundi News Agency reported Monday.

According to the state-owned agency, Jean Bosco Nkurikiye, the head of Ruhinga secondary school was arrested Sunday afternoon.

The agency said that police accuse him of owning firearms and training an armed group that disrupted security at Mutobo, his village, since 2015.

Steve Nyandwi, a member of the armed group who disclosed that the school director was the head of the armed group, indicated that he had received from him a gun of the Kalashnikov type and six chargers full of ammunition.

The gun was recently discovered in the River Ruzibazi near Nkurikiye’s home while one of the six chargers was found in one of Nkurikiye’s plantations, according to the report.

Mugamba is one of the localities that faced insecurity since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his controversial decision to run for a third term.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 410,000 people fled to neighboring countries, mostly Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo since the outbreak of the crisis.

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Italian surgeon found dead in Burundi’s capital: police

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- An Italian surgeon was Monday found dead at his home at Kiriri residential area in the Burundian capital Bujumbura, Burundian police said.

Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said Monday on Twitter that the Italian national had been stabbed by unknown people.

“Franco de Simone, an Italian national who worked as a surgeon at Kira Hospital, the biggest hospital in Burundi, was found dead today at his home in Kiriri residential area,” said Nkurikiye.

According to him, a woman has been arrested for further investigations.

Sources at Kira Hospital Hospital said the arrested woman is the victim’s wife.

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Burundi accuses Rwandan soldiers of killing national, abducting 2 others

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundian authorities on Thursday accused Rwandan soldiers of killing a Burundian national and abducting two others on Wednesday at Mabayi in Cibitoke province on the Burundian territory.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), Rwandan soldiers crossed the River Kaburantwa, entered the Burundian territory at Rutorero in Mabayi district in the province of Cibitoke. They opened fire, shot dead a Burundian national called Jean Marie Niyonzima and abducted two others,” Cibitoke Governor Joseph Iteriteka said.

According to him, the corpse of the victim was found Thursday morning.

In recent months, over six Burundian nationals were killed by Rwandan soldiers after the Rwandan army accused them of illicitly entering the Rwandan territory from Burundi’s Cibitoke and Kirundo provinces.

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda have deteriorated after Burundi accused Rwanda of hosting and supporting perpetrators of the 2015 coup plot against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

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Two killed over witchcraft accusations in central Burundi: police

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- A man Tuesday evening killed his mother and one of his brothers at Ndava in the Burundian central province of Mwaro, accusing them of bewitching his wife, the Burundian police spokesman said Wednesday.

“The incident happened yesterday (Tuesday) evening around 18:15 (16:15 GMT) at Ndava. A man killed his mother and one of his brothers with a machete. He accused them of bewitching his wife dead on January 2 this year,” Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said.

According to him, the man who killed his two relatives has been arrested for investigation.

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Burundi marks 10th anniversary of admission into East African bloc

BUJUMBURA, (Xinhua) -- Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza Wednesday launched the week marking the 10th anniversary of Burundi’s admission into the East African Community (EAC), committing to pursue the country’s integration into the bloc.

“I call upon officials closely following up the integration of Burundi in EAC to continue pursuing the country’s integration,” Nkurunziza said.

The EAC, made up of six countries including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda has not yet reached the monetary union and the political federation - the last step of the bloc’s integration.

According to Nkurunziza, the challenge is “harmonizing” in the EAC in order to spearhead the bloc’s integration.

“We (Burundi) also have to harmonize our laws in the EAC region in order to avoid being obstacles to the full integration of the bloc,” Nkurunziza added.

He said such laws that need to be harmonized notably include tax administration policies.

Nkurunziza underlined that Burundi has had good relationships with other East African countries even before the colonial period.

“Before the colonial period, Burundian citizens went to Tanzania or Uganda to buy goods like salt that could not be found on the local market. Others went to those countries to seek jobs when Burundi was facing famine or hunger,” Nkurunziza said.

Burundi and Rwanda were admitted to the EAC in July 2007, joining Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. South Sudan joined the EAC in March 2017.

             

 

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