Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi in his New Year message called for deeper meditation, solidarity, consolidation of unity and awakening consciences.
“It is very nice to spend a whole year in peace, security and tranquillity in all corners of Burundian territory,” Nkurunziza said.
He thanked the Defence and Security Forces and other institutions of the country that give their hearts and souls, day and night, for Burundi to live in peace and dignity.
“I cannot ignore the Burundian population and especially the Joint Security Committees.”
He thanked countries and international organizations that supported him in various policies and projects, above all, to convince those who are still doubting and those who have taken a dead end because of rumours, lies and all sorts of fabricated stories that are orchestrated and spread by the enemies of Burundi.
Excerpts from his message:
First: The many good ideas expressed by the Burundian Citizens have resulted in a Constitution that promotes National Sovereignty, Dignity and the Public Affairs; a Constitution that puts Burundi back into God’s Hands as it used to be before the arrival of the colonizers.
Second: We categorically refused to return to a dictatorial regime, and we have consolidated country’s independence and democratic governance when the Burundians organized the constitutional referendum themselves without asking for foreign assistance in terms of experts, material and financial means.
Third: We have safeguarded peace and security throughout the country, Burundians and foreigners living in this country have lived in peace and freedom; while our brothers and sisters who have taken refuge outside the country returned to their native country in great numbers.
Fourth: We have shown to those who continue to harbour doubts about us that the bad seeds of division no longer grow on our soil; we have turned a deaf ear to some Burundians and foreigners who still want to stir up the conflicts among us and divide us into antagonistic groups in order to plunge us back into the chaos in which the colonizers and the traitors who were allied with them had put in our country.
Fifth: Through the program of patriotic and civic education, we helped Burundians in distinguishing wheat from tares, to know the secrets and history of our country and we made them aware of the importance of leaving behind a dignified legacy. We will continue this program for the good of Burundians, both for those who live today and for future generations.
Sixth: We have continued to raise funds and searched for other material resources within the framework of organizing the 2020 elections, and many Burundian citizens have responded to this initiative, delighted to do so and without constraint. I thank you for responding to my appeal to organize the elections ourselves without foreign interference.
Security is the foundation, pillar and shield of Dignity and Development in Burundi and around the world. However, the picture is not all bright; there was an armed gang that killed 26 people and wounded 7 others in Ruhagarika, Buganda Commune in Cibitoke Province.
Some of these criminals have now been brought to justice. Those who committed these crimes acknowledged that it was in Rwanda that everything had been planned, that those who sent them are in Rwanda and that they came from Rwanda.
There was also banditry with firearms; murders largely committed in a setting of land disputes and witchcraft suspicion; persons who produce, market or use narcotic drugs and prohibited beverages; it is these elements that largely cause disputes and insecurity in the community. The perpetrators of all these crimes were each time apprehended and punished in accordance with the law.
This prompted us to conduct searches at several locations across the country, which resulted in the seizure of 123 rifles, 16095 bullets, 127 cartridge cases, 446 grenades, 27 bombs, 8 mines and other military or police items, while many quantities of illegal drinks were also seized and put away from harm.
In the political sphere, a dialogue between the Government and the legally recognized political parties was held and they agreed on a roadmap leading to the 2020 elections.
The other major accomplishment of the year was the eradication of the disorder that prevailed in the International Non-Governmental Organizations and Private Corporations operating in Burundi with a view to encouraging them to work legally and in conformity with Burundian law.