BUJUMBURA September 27th (ABP) – The Burundi Head of State, Evariste Ndayishimiye, who has participated since Monday, September 20, 2021 in the 76th ordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly, addressed Thursday, September 23, a speech to that Assembly to inform him of the political, economic and security situation prevailing in the country.
According to President Ndayishimiye, that session of the General Assembly is being held as Burundi will celebrate the 60th anniversary of its independence and of its membership in the United Nations family. It is therefore a moment to remember that the UN played a big role because, since the end of the First World War, Burundi was managed under the mandate of the League of Nations (SDN), then the UN.
He said that the mismanagement of the colonial period had negative consequences for Burundi which suffered just after independence, social conflicts that were characterized by repetitive massacres whose wounds are still struggling to heal.
“As emerges from the central theme of our general debate,” he said, “we must indeed restore hope to our citizens.” “In Burundi, it is to restore hope not only in the face of the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the consequences of these repetitive crises that have been perpetrated in the country with complete impunity”.
According to the Head of State, on that day, “the restoration of peace, security, stability and social cohesion are a reality in Burundi. The only enemy that remains a threat to citizens, in addition to the Covid-19 pandemic which is common to all of us, is poverty “. “We are committed, along with all citizens, to fight it in order to achieve our goal: the well-being of the Burundian people. And to achieve this, we have identified a number of priorities that we have included in the roadmap of the National Development Plan of Burundi, PND 2018-2027, an ambitious and transformative program, which can accelerate the process of socio-economic development already in operation since 2018”.
To achieve that, we have put forward good governance and social justice. To do that, the fight against corruption, economic malfeasance and the fight against impunity, are among the priorities of responsible and hard-working government, said the head of state.
As regards the fight against impunity and the prevention of social conflicts, Burundi has put forward local justice mechanisms in order to allow all Burundians to have rapid and equal access to fair justice. Also, he stressed, efforts have been made to make real the independence and impartiality of the judiciary by making the Superior Council of the Judiciary operational. As part of managing the violent vices of the past, the government of Burundi is wisely managing the transitional justice process in order to meet the justice needs for all victims.
In the context of security management, he insisted on highlighting the issue of terrorism. On that subject, President Ndayishimiye underlined those successes have been recorded but, according to him, we must humbly recognize that the United Nations is far from having developed a common, adequate and effective strategy to annihilate this scourge. “From a strategic point of view, it being understood that terrorism has no justification, I remain convinced that beyond the necessary military action, the effective fight against terrorism presupposes a fight against radicalization which is based on ‘ignorance, poverty, youth unemployment and illiteracy’, underlined the Head of State. The UN should take action to fight poverty and take severe sanctions against those groups and all those who support them, he added.
For our part, “we are concerned about the proliferation of terrorism in the sub-region, including officials such as the ADF and Red Tabara who are based in the eastern region of the DRC, who recruit unemployed young people and who blindly kill the peaceful and innocent citizens”, underlined President Ndayishimiye. “I remain convinced that these groups pose a threat not only to our region but to all humanity. In this regard, we must join forces to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. And, we believe that this fight must continue with more determination and solidarity”. It is in this context that since 2007, Burundi has made military and police contingents available to the United Nations and the African Union, to contribute to the restoration and maintenance of security and peace. in some countries that need it, such as Somalia and the Central African Republic (CAR).
Regarding human rights issues, Burundi firmly believes that human rights must be protected by clear mechanisms of good governance, security and fair justice, said the head of state. He added that in the context of monitoring the state of implementation of the principles of human rights protection, the international community should adhere to the fundamental principles of universality, transparency, impartiality and non-compliance. selectivity, non-politicization and objectivity as well as the rejection of the practice of double standards, two measures in the matter.
In that regard, Burundi believes that the best way to promote and protect human rights must be through cooperation, dialogue, technical assistance and capacity building of national mechanisms working in the field of human rights. “We take this opportunity to ask certain partners, particularly within the United Nations Human Rights Council, to read the efforts that Burundi is deploying alongside other Nations fairly and responsibly and to appreciate them. just value “. “Any tendency to single out Burundi by attaching special human rights mechanisms to it is simply counterproductive,” said the head of state. “As you know, Burundi has national mechanisms capable of defending, promoting and protecting human rights. In addition to the Independent National Commission for Human Rights, which has just regained its A status, we have the National Observatory for the Prevention and Eradication of Genocide, War Crimes and Other Crimes Against Humanity, the Truth Commission and Reconciliation, the National Council for National Unity, the Land and Other Goods Commission as well as the institution of the ombudsman”.
In practice, the government has focused on the protection of human rights, respect for democratic principles, freedoms of opinion, expression and the media. And, a lot of effort has been made thanks to the establishment of an almost permanent dialogue between political parties, the media and the public authorities.
That allowed the reopening of some media which had been closed in the wake of the clashes and the insurgency of 2015, the release of more than five thousand prisoners by presidential pardon, the participation of political parties and civil society in the management of the political and social life of the country.