It is not yet over until it is over- this seems to be the situation in Burundi as offices of the largest opposition political party suffer vandalism by unknown people.
CNL party leaders say that immediately after the May 20th Polls, its five offices in three provinces have been targeted by acts of vandalism. They include one in Buringa, Muhuta commune in Rumonge demolished last week on the night of 16th July.
According to the party, many of its members continue to disappear mysteriously especially in the CNL strongholds.
“Threats and intimidation continue to weigh on the municipal officials where the CNL has strong support base. Having missed Ntamavukiro Sopatra Irene at her home, elected from Ntahangwa Mayor of Bujumbura, strangers have just kidnapped her child,” the party reported.
Although the party reports most of these incidences against its supporters and its property, the authorities have refused to prosecute culprits.
CNL says the incidences of vandalism on its offices in Rugari, Muyinga two consecutive times (night of 4/11/2019 and night of 7/14/2020), the judicial police officers refused to bring the case to justice.
The political and security situation in Burundi remains tense although in a latent manner. Everyone is anxious to know how the new leader will tame the situation.
Burundi was plunged into a political crisis in 2015 when late President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a controversial third term in office. The US, EU and former colonial power Belgium described Nkurunziza’s re-election as not credible. The government dismissed international criticism.
Maj. Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye 52, assumed the highest seat in the country after winning the May 20th polls that CNL vowed to contest the results.
He is from the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) which won the May election with 68.70%.
According to political analysts, the biggest challenge that President Ndayishimiye’s government is facing is “demobilizing the dreaded Imbonerakure,” a youth wing of the ruling party which has been accused of killings and other abuses.
Imbonerakure are at the forefront of massive torture, kidnaps and disappearances of people opposed to the ruling party policies.
“At the same time, he will need to deal with his Burundian security forces as they have been accused by Burundian people of human rights abuses and no respect for the law,” Ismael Buchanan, senior lecturer of the department of political science at the University of Rwanda was quoted by local media.