Burundi opposition boss insults Museveni

Minani: Museveni can keep saying rubbish, Burundians will deal with Nkurunziza

Jérémie Minani, the President of the Rally of Democrats of Burundi

A member of a top opposition political party in Burundi on Saturday lost his cool and verbally abused the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, who doubles as the new chairman of the East African Community.

Speaking at the 18th EAC summit in Dar es Salaam Tanzania, Museveni said objected to European Union sanctions on Burundi and threats to the economic prosperity of Kenya.

On 29 September 2016, the Council renewed the EU restrictive measures against Burundi until 31 October 2017.

“We don’t agree with the EU placing unilateral sanctions on Burundi,” Museveni told the summit.

This statement angered Jérémie Minani, the President of the Rally of Democrats of Burundi and candidate for the 2015 presidential elections, to extent of insulting the new EAC chair.

Quoting Museveni’s statement and without mincing his words, Minani said he was “so disappointed by Museveni and Tanzania President John Magufuli’s statements about EU sanctions on Burundi”.

Minani called it the last step of EAC failure in Burundi crisis.

“Someone ask Museveni why he failed to bring the Burundi cruel ruler [Pierre Nkurunziza] to the negotiations table if he really believes in peace and security of the region,” Minani continued.

Museveni while calling on the EU to lift sanctions on Burundi, had stated: “This is our problem. We don’t want the European Union to take measures against a member state without discussions with us.”

Burundi opposition losing faith in Museveni’s mediation?

But Minani wondered should Burundians should expect from a mediator who believes EU should keep funding “the Burundi regime”.

EU ambassador to Tanzania and the EAC, Roeland van de Geer, told AFP that “sanctions remain as long as the situation does not change”.

These measures consist of a travel ban and asset freeze against four persons whose activities were deemed to be undermining democracy or obstructing the search for a political solution to the crisis in Burundi.

Burundi opposition, on the other hand, says it will find another way if all these measures fail to bring to an end Nkurunziza’s grip on power.

“Never mind, Burundians will find their own way to deal with the Burundi cruel ruler. Thanks to EAC for wasting our time,” Minani stated.

Still angry, Minani asked Museveni if he still believes in Arusha peace talks when he “is doing nothing to force the Burundi cruel ruler to join those talks”.

“Someone ask Museveni why he wasted our time since July 2015 knowing he’s such a big supporter of the Burundi cruel ruler,” he said, adding, “No wonder why Burundi cruel ruler has dismissed all the calls to join inclusive peace talks. He is supported by Museveni and Magufuli.”

Minani then asked why Museveni should be trusted again Burundi crisis, saying he [Museveni] has been a mediator for two years but there is no peace yet he wants EU sanctions removed.

Museveni had stressed that EU sanctions on Burundi are the reason why the have not signed the EPA [Economic Partnership Agreement].

“Burundi is our member and no action should be taken against it without our input. Our house is our house,” Museveni stressed.

Minani insults Museveni

With intense rage, Minani picked on the statement and said: “This is a shame. The man who should push for more sanctions against Nkurunziza is condemning EU sanctions. We should expect nothing from you.”

He then went personal: “Museveni can keep saying rubbish about Burundi, I am sure Burundians will deal with Nkurunziza one way or the other. Wait and watch.”

According to Minani, Burundi crisis has claimed over 5000 people in two years, and 500K are suffering in refugees’ camps but “Museveni is making a joke it. Unacceptable!”

A concerned tweep [@isaqasi] then shared gruesome images of Burundi massacres saying: “[Museveni] How about you put the fire out before grandstanding. Burundi ‘house’:+500k refugees, +2k massacred, daily forced disappearance, torture…”
Other tweeps picked up the rage and fanned the already burning flames on Twitter.

A one Mwangala Ali‏ [@MwangalaAli] responded to Museveni’s tweet saying: “A dictator remains a dictator! Now you’re extending the dictatorship even beyond boarders!”

Equally enraged, a one John Okach‏ [@johnokach] told Museveni: “What nonsense! When Pierre Nkurunziza is killing innocent civilians EAC is quiet.”

Vocal Minani and Burundi opposition

Minani, the man who ignited this Twitter inferno, is the leader of the RDB who stood in 2015 elections that Nkurunziza won, amid outcries of mass rigging and intimidation.

Minani then authored a document condemning “atrocities, humiliations and injustices, unjust, ineffective and inhuman policies that have been pursued since 1962, which promote anti-democratic bad governance, corruption and economic embezzlement, and violations of the fundamental rights of citizens and asking Burundian Democrats not to remain deaf or dumb.

Minani who had just arrived in the country, said his priority was to bring together Burundian citizens committed to the values of democracy and good governance in order to present to them the project of society the RDB party wished to reform.

In 2016, Melchiade Bankuwiha, the Secretary General of the RDB party, released another document calling upon the International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor to ensure perpetrators of crimes against humanity do not go unpunished, after lawmakers in Burundi overwhelmingly voted in favour of a plan to withdraw from the world court.

The statement said that Burundi’s withdrawal from the founding Rome Statute “does not give the authorities a free band to continue committing international crimes by evading international justice”.


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