BUJUMBURA July 2nd (ABP) – Ceremonies marking the 59th anniversary of Burundi’s independence began with a speech to the nation that the President of the Republic of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye delivered on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.
The actual ceremonies marking the 59th anniversary of Burundi’s independence began on Thursday, July 1, 2021 with the laying of bouquets by the President of the Republic of Burundi on the tomb of the hero of independence and at the independence square. He then proceeded to the review of the troops before arriving on Independence Boulevard where the actual ceremonies took place.
The President of the Republic of Burundi called on the Burundians to respect the country’s borders, respect for others and respect for the laws governing the government.
The theme chosen this year was “understanding and fully playing one’s role as a citizen in national life, is the basis of real independence”.
Addressing the Burundians, the Head of State recalled that July 1 is a memorable day in the history of the country. It reminds the Burundians of many things because we have regained independence after being oppressed and overwhelmed during more than 65 years that we spent under the colonial yoke.
He added that it is a special day of meditation and remembrance, a precious moment to remember again the role that the heroes of Burundi have played in the struggle for the restoration of the dignity of the Burundians so that they can have the right to organize the affairs of the nation themselves in complete freedom and autonomy.
The President of the Republic of Burundi invited the Burundians to analyze together the losses and the opportunities that the colonial administration caused the Burundians to miss.
According to him, in the first place, the colonizers stole the country and the wealth it abounded in and made it their own. They also sought a way to make the Burundians lose their citizenship in order to uproot their national base by changing their social identity without forgetting the consequences which have led some Burundians to forget, hate and incite other peoples to hate it.
The second opportunity that the colonizers made the Burundians miss is the sense of respect for institutions and authority by causing them to lose the entire human and cultural valuesspecific to Burundians such as respect for the human person.
He deplored that the Burundians have lost the sense of the secrecy of the nation while it contributes to the construction of the country. It also meant that the colonial regime caused the loss of reason and consciousness. He explained that before the colonizers, the Burundians had reached a very high level in the development of technologies. They made all the instruments they needed from the ores while this know-how has now disappeared.
President Ndayishimiye also said that now is the time to turn the situation to our advantage, to know who we are and to know our role in influencing the future of the country.
He indicated that Burundians must believe that their citizenship does not lie in being muhutu, mututsi or mutwa, because our social belonging comes after our belonging to the country. He called on them to affirm that Burundi is a promised land; every Burundian must understand that it is their land, their country, and no one has the right to exclude them, whether it is their Burundian compatriot or a foreigner.
Every Burundian is asked to be a cornerstone to build their native country. He added that every citizen has an incomparable role to play in achieving true independence.
He also pointed out that true independence is characterized by the fact that there are no barriers that prevent a citizen from feeling comfortable in his/her own country.
According to the Head of State, independence does not mean closing in on oneself; it is having esteem in the concert of nations while refusing contempt. Rather, we must open up to others so that others can know our history and the interest we have in them because we are complementary to each other.
What must be kept in mind is that it is time to free ourselves from the contempt of foreigners by demonstrating that Burundians are capable.
The Head of State positively appreciated the prevailing security situation and the good farming production. This gives hope to achieve the goal of “responsible” and “hardworking” government which stipulates that every mouth should have what to eat and every pocket money.
The President of the Republic took that opportunity to honor certain people who have given their all to promote the independence of Burundi. We can cite the former Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs, Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye, the United States Ambassador to the Great Lakes region, Peter Farm, who defended Burundi in front of the international community but also certain high-ranking officers and agents of the defense and security corps.
It is worthy to note that those ceremonies were honored with the presence of certain authorities from other countries, in particular the President of the Central African Republic, the representative of Kenya, that of the United Republic of Tanzania but also the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda. The delegations from Uganda, Congo Brazzaville, Qatar, Djibouti, Egypt and the UN special envoy to the Great Lakes region also honored the ceremonies marking the 59th anniversary of the independence of Burundi with their presence.