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 neo-colonialism still exists, adding that some Burundian betrayers are collaborating with them.
“This is a warning. Troublemakers who cooperate with neo-colonialists 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 colonised by Germany before World War I.