• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

National unity needs gradual improvement, according to Sylvestre Ntibantunganya


Feb 8, 2023

BUJUMBURA February 8th (ABP) – On the occasion of the closing of the week dedicated to national unity organized by the National Council for National Unity and Reconciliation (CNUNR), a high-level panel was organized on Saturday February 4 in Bujumbura, and was attended by the former presidents of Burundi, Mr. Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, Mr. Domitien Ndayizeye and representatives of various political parties such as UPRONA, CNDD-FDD, CNL, parliamentarians, representatives of civil society and others.

Indeed, the panelists expressed themselves on the issue of national unity. Former President of Burundi Ntibantunganya indicated that he was a member of the commission in charge of studying national unity and the same commission drew up the draft national unity charter, which was eventually adopted by the referendum of February 5, 1991.

According to him, what motivated the establishment of the said commission and the drawing up of the national unity charter is that with the arrival of the colonizers, Burundi went through difficult periods in view of the people who lost life because of ethnic, regional references and others. For that reason, the national unity charter was drawn up to see if the country can be protected from those misfortunes.

Despite this, Mr. Ntibantunganya noted, after 1991, the conflicts continued. It is for that reason that national unity is a perpetual search, to explain that we must not believe that we have finished with national unity. He compared national unity with democracy, arguing that both need to be improved over time, the important thing being that speech is delivered, he stressed. He did not fail to specify that national unity goes hand in hand with the management of the mechanisms of access to power, that is to say, how power is exercised in favor of all components of the population.

He indicated that the democratic option that Burundi has taken since the years 1992-1993, is an option that already indicates ways for the sustainability of national unity. He cited certain principles such as giving a voice to Burundians, listening to Burundians, letting them decide who they prefer to lead them at all levels of national life, democratically managing the country, managing the country with justice for all, putting forward skills and equity to eliminate disparities between all components of the Burundian population. After 32 years of the existence of the national unity charter, Mr. Ntibantunganya insisted on dialogue to correct the challenges that still persist and the strengthening of the step already taken in terms of national unity.

The other panelists also commended the interventions of the former President of the Republic of Burundi and proposed that people be characterized by the solidarity and unity that characterized Burundians before colonization. They asked that the Burundians can still sit down for the review of certain articles of the national unity charter. The panelists also suggested that it should be done in such a way that all Burundians feel they have the same advantages and the same rights.

The deputy chairman of the CNUNR, Mr. Seth Nkeshimana, thanked all those who gave contributions related to how to strengthen national unity during the week dedicated to that unity. He promised that such a week will be organized every year to collect contributions from Burundians.