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Burundi will not acknowledge Regional Parliament new Speaker

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundi will not acknowledge the new speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) elected recently due to irregularities in the vote, Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza said on Friday.

Established in 2001, EALA is an organ of the East African Community (EAC) with a mandate of legislation, representation and oversight. Each of the six member states of EAC including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda contributed nine members to EALA.

"We will not acknowledge the new speaker of EALA that was boycotted by EALA lawmakers from Tanzania and Burundi.

"The election of the EALA speaker was characterized by irregularities and was unlawful," said Nkurunziza during a live radio program held in the Kayanza town in northern Burundi.

The program was broadcast on local radio stations based in Burundi.

Former Rwandan Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga was elected Speaker of EALA last Tuesday.

The election of the new EALA speaker violated rules and procedures of the EAC and of the EALA, said Nkurunziza.

The candidate should have been elected from the member state that comes first in alphabetical order as the leadership of EAC organs is assumed on the rotation basis, he added.

He indicated that after Uganda, which had the latest EALA speaker, it is the turn of Burundi as it comes first considering the alphabetical order.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who is also the current chairperson of EAC Heads of State Summit, had also advised EALA to consider the alphabetical order of countries as it is the procedure, said Nkurunziza.

Burundi has urged explanations on how the election of the EALA speaker took place, he said.

"If we are not convinced, we will file a lawsuit," he said.


Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza warns of sanctions against
polygamous people who fail to legalize their marriages

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Friday pledged sanctions against polygamous people who failed to legalize their marriages before the deadline set on Dec. 31.

"The law doesn’t allow polygamy in Burundi.

"Therefore, people who will not have legalized their marriages before the end of this year will be sanctioned according to the law," said Nkurunziza during a live radio program held in the northern town of Kayanza.

A polygamous man can have many wives with over 30 children who are not registered anywhere, which makes Burundi having wrong statistics of its population, said the president.

Those who are not registered are not taken into consideration in the country’s development projects, he said.

"With the implementation of the ‘one man, one wife’ policy, we will be able to control the population growth," he added.

During the celebration of the International Labor Day on May 1 this year, Nkurunziza announced that polygamy or having concubines is not allowed, adding that all couples should have legalized their marriages by the end of the year.

Muslim groups, however, opposed the measure, arguing that their religion allows them to marry many wives.

After the announcement of the law, Burundian minister of interior Pascal Barandagiye said that polygamous men should leave their wives and keep only one, preferably the first wife.

Police dismantle 245 groups of criminals in Burundi in 2017: minister

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Over 245 groups of criminals were dismantled in 2017, making the country peaceful, said Burundian security minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni on Wednesday when presenting the security ministry activity report for 2017.

"Throughout this year that we are ending, police made 12,675 search operations during which over 245 groups of criminals were dismantled.

A total 132 firearms of different types were also seized during those operations," said Bunyoni in a press conference held in Burundian capital Bujumbura.

According to him, during those police search operations, 392 grenades and six mortar shells were also seized.

Bunyoni indicated that some sporadic acts of criminality were reported including acts of human trafficking, thefts in households and grenade explosions.

He added that a quantity of over 18 tons of hemp for smoking was destroyed while 16,000 balls of hemp were seized and 1,575 plants of hemp were destroyed.

He said the security situation of Burundi highly improved in 2017 compared with 2016, adding that criminality cases reduced from 400 to 277 and terror acts reduced from 143 cases in 2016 to 11 cases in 2017.



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