December 15, 2017
• The Burundi president, whose re-election in 2015 triggered a political and economic crisis, said on national television yesterday that the country was sovereign and that changing its constitution was part of its sovereignty.
He warned all those who wanted to challenge the constitutional changes that they would face hardship, adding that it was God’s plan.
In power since 2005 after a decade of civil war, Nkurunziza’s re-election was criticised as illegal and led to killings and more than 400000 refugees fleeing the country, triggering a Great Lakes humanitarian crisis.
Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader, announced this plan in Bugendana district, in front of several allies and security forces, who gathered for the event.
If the constitution is amended, Nkurunziza will be allowed to stay in power until 2034, and his presidential terms will last seven years.
Jan Oberg comments:
Oh God, please save the Burundian people – 10 million+ – from this madman!
I worked on and off in Burundi over 12 years, met him when he was normal and had some positive ideas.
Since 2015 I’ve argued that if there is a place for humanitarian intervention, it is here. Millions of lives are at stake in the poorest country on earth.
Does anyone really give a damn in the Western world now Burundi only produces coffee, tea and bananas?