A peaceful demonstration was held in the Burundian capital Bujumbura protesting a letter that Ugandan President Museveni wrote to President Pierre Nkurunziza concerning Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
The massive demonstration involving thousands of Burundians was organised by Albert Nsekabambaye, the Publicity Secretary of Burundi ruling party, the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for Defence and Democracy [CNDD-FDD].
At the helm of the protest were The Imbonerakure (“those that see far) considered a private militia of the Burundian leader.
Nsekabambaye had issued a letter Thursday December 27 [http://edge.ug/2018/12/28/nkurunziza-militia-calls-anti-museveni-demos-in-burundi/] calling for a round of protests against a response that Museveni, the chairman of the East African Community [EAC] sent to Nkurunziza who asked him to stop Kagame from destabilising Burundi.
Barundi marched and filled roads in the capital carrying huge banners reading:
“The people of Bujumbura in join hands with all people of Burundi to condemn in the strongest terms the unfriendly words or incitement words made by foreigners against the leadership of Burundi.”
“These foreigners work together with the enemies of Burundi. That is what destabilised Burundi. We the people Burundi strongly reject and condemn them.”
The protesters gathered from Bujumbura city joined with people of other provinces to “denounce continued propaganda and work orchestrated by Burundians living outside our country and other countries to show Burundi as a bad country whose people are suffering and crying for help”.
Opposition CNARED leader, Jeremie Minani, who condemned the move by Bujumbura regime to manipulate the EAC, said “the most important thing is that 2018 is the year that gives me certainty that the dying regime of Pierre Nkurunziza will not survive”.
“Tyranny never prevails over freedom,” he added. According to Minani, Nkurunziza is doing everything possible to prevent Kagame from becoming the next EAC chair and play victim so he is not held accountable for his misdeeds.
Genesis of the silent EAC crisis
In a letter dated December 4, 2018, Nkurunziza wrote to Museveni accusing Kagame of “preparing and supervising” the coup d’état of 2015, saying the coup perpetrators and other criminals have taken up residence in Rwanda where they receive support to attack Burundi.
He claimed the coup perpetrators cross Rwanda-Burundi border or via the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as getting assistance and travel documents to enable them to circulate in the region and even in Europe.
In his reply, Museveni accused Bujumbura of trying to manipulate the regional bloc to suit its own ends.
He said there is the historic treaty of Arusha Agreement, which the region guaranteed.
Museveni said respecting inter-state agreements, even when they impact internal situations, may not be interference and is only what was agreed.
In response to all these accusations, Kagame said he would not allow Nkurunziza provoke him using the regional integration.
He even accused neighbours of backing regional rebels who want to overthrow him.
Nkurunziza who was not satisfied with Museveni’s response reacted by blocking 309 Ugandan scouts from taking part in this year’s African Zone Scout competition at Gitega, the new capital of Burundi.