Burundi’s Nkurunziza appoints Cabinet amid disconcerting Amnesty International Report

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza sworn in for third term
Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza

Highlights:

  • Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has appointed a 19-member cabinet after being sworn into office last week in a low-key ceremony.
  • The new cabinet that has 19 ministries comprises of 5 women, 7 minister retained their old positions while 12 were replaced with all key ministries remaining in the ruling party National Council for Defense of Democracy-Forces for Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD)
  • Nkurunziza swearing and appointment of a cabinet is amid Amnesty International Reports of grave human rights violation on civilians mainly from the opposition.

Analysis:

Pierre Nkurunziza, Burundi’s President on 25th August, appointed a new cabinet after being sworn in last week before his second term officially ended. Nkurunziza was sworn in a very low key swearing-in ceremony that was not publicized and characterized by the conspicuous absence of diplomats and dignitaries from foreign countries.

Burundi’s cabinet has 19 ministries which in the new cabinet, all the key ministries remained with the ruling party CNDD-FDD. Of the ministerial posts, 7 ministers retained their posts, 12 were replaced with the 5 of the replacements being women.

The new cabinet appointments come amid a report from the Amnesty International that shows that severe atrocities were done on the civilian especially from the opposition. The report gives detailed reports from victims who said harsh torture was used to extract confessions from them mainly by the police and National Intelligence Service (SNR).

Burundi has witnessed a series of violent attacks that have stirred the possibility of a much more ethnic-based violence. Since the eruption of the violence in April a failed coup, killing of the chief spy, attacks on activists and most recent assassination of an ex-military chief during the civil war are among the major incidences. Reports indicate that at least 100 people mainly from the opposition have been reported dead since April this year.

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Forecast:

The AU, the UN among other international actors have warned against the prolonged crisis in Burundi citing its impeding catastrophic outcomes not only to Burundi but the entire central Africa region.

AU Commission chair Dlamini-Zuma urged the two opposing factions to resolve the standoff and resume the mediation talks that were being moderated by Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni from the East Africa Community. The violence was already causing humanitarian crises in the neighboring countries like Tanzania due to the influx in refugees and the scarce resources available at the camps.

The failure of the two sides to come to an amicable agreement could see the failed coup leader make real on his threat to organize forces and militants plunging the country into a catastrophic civil war barely a decade since the last one ended.

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