Burundian people on Saturday staged parades countrywide to support United Nations (UN) Security Council’s decision of removing Burundi from its political agenda.
The UN Security Council on December 4 ended mandatory of reporting on the central African nation and encouraged its international partners to continue dialogue towards resumption of development assistance. In the commercial capital Bujumbura, members of civil society groups, political parties and citizens from the provinces of Bubanza, Cibitoke, Bujumbura, Rumonge and Bujumbura city paraded together. Thousands of people met in the morning and marched for about three kilometers, holding banners and singing songs. “The decision recently taken by the UN Security Council of removing Burundi from its political agenda proves that UN has understood our wishes. The move strengthens the sovereignty of Burundi,” Hamza Venant Burikukiye, chairman of a network of organizations advocating the fight against HIV/AIDS, CAPES+, told the paraders at the city center’s Independence Square where the parade was concluded. Civil society groups highly congratulate the Burundian government for doing all the best to convince the UN Security Council to remove Burundi from its political agenda, said Burikukiye. In Ngozi town in northern Burundi, a parade brought together members of civil society groups, political parties and citizens from the provinces of Ngozi, Kayanza, Kirundo and Muyinga.
Earlier this week, the Burundian government also welcomed the UN Security Council’s decision. The government of Burundi had stated on many occasions that Burundi no longer poses a threat to regional peace and security, and therefore should not stay on the Security Council’s agenda. Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye reiterated the request during his speech at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly earlier this year. The small landlocked country plunged into crisis in April 2015 when Ndayishimiye’s predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third-term bid, which he ultimately won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015. Since April 2015, 300,000 Burundians fled to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.