Burundi: It is time for the world to stop tiptoeing around Burundi’s primitive politics

The military junta of Burundi, represented politically by the CNDD-FDD party – symbolized by the eagle wielding a machete – has been implicated in numerous deaths from the time of the civil war (1993-2004) to the present.

More recently, this regime began to distribute bladed weapons (machetes, club sticks, sticks to break heads) and Kalashnikovs to the Imbonerakure militias and the radicals and former guerrillas of the CNDD-FDD, to be sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo along with the Burundi national army. Its mission is to support Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi’s coalition forces in the fight against the M23/AFC rebellion in the east of the country. The M23/AFC rebellion defends the rights and security of Congolese Tutsis who are under threat of genocide.

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The reason Burundi is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is based on primitive politics. Historically, the first president of Burundi after independence, Michel Micombero (November 28, 1966 – November 1, 1976) inherited a backward country and a society divided along ethnic lines (Hutu/Tutsi) created by the Belgian colonialists. Unfortunately, this division persists today, with an extremist junta of FDD guerrillas in charge. These militias spread terror and massacred civilians between 1993 and 2004, but they never managed to defeat the soldiers loyal to Pierre Buyoya. What is interesting is that the Arusha peace accords, promoted by former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere, and then, after Nyerere’s death, by former South African president Nelson Mandela, allowed the FDD militias to come to power without having won the civil war. and without having confronted the popular will at the polls.

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The functioning of the CNDD-FDD regime in Burundi, which must be examined through its state structures, revolves around the Head of State, the Minister of State in charge of Security, the Director General of National Intelligence, the Secretary General of the CNDD/FDD, and the Chief of Staff of the Civil Cabinet, Police Affairs and Military Affairs of the Presidency. As far as I know, and this is important, as Head of Military Affairs, the current leader of Burundi, Évariste Ndayishimiye or General Neva, oversees Imbonerakure, the CNDD-FDD militia responsible for much of the violence against civilians during the government of the former president Pierre Nkurunziza’s mandate. Under these parallel chains of command, orders were transmitted through a network of loyalties dating back to Burundi’s ethnic civil war (1993-2004).

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The objective of the CNDD-FDD by closing the border with Rwanda and sending soldiers and militiamen to the Democratic Republic of the Congo can no longer be hidden. Events on the ground show that the goal is to help Tshisekedi expel all those who look like Tutsis from the Great Lakes region.

The CNDD-FDD regime managed to take advantage of the historic and anachronistic ideological alliance between Hutu and Bantu extremists in Tanzania and South Africa, prompting them to join Tshisekedi in the ongoing campaign against the Congolese Tutsis. In the Great Lakes region, since the 1950s, the Tutsis suffered a series of unprecedented ethnic cleansings that have forced them to opt for self-defense, hence the origin of the M23 in the DR Congo.

This is not the first time that the CNDD-FDD has participated in a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 1998, when a full-scale war broke out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the FDD quickly intervened to support the genocidal Interahamwe and Hutu Power brigades who carried out the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda before fleeing to then-Zaire.

The policy that allowed the CNDD-FDD regime to be part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Congolese Tutsis was born a long time ago. In 1972 a seed of hatred was planted, initially by the colonialists. But it was there afterwards, fed by the Burundians themselves. Colonial agents who first arrived in the Great Lakes region viewed local populations through a lens steeped in the racist ideologies of their day, such as Gobineau’s theory of racial inequality. They imposed a hierarchical classification of populations into categories ranging from quasi-European to primitive and from naïve to deceptive. This classification quickly led to the infamous Hamitic theory, which wrongly labeled the Tutsis as Ethiopian immigrants who had usurped the indigenous Bantu populations, even though “Bantu” was simply a linguistic grouping and the Tutsis themselves were Bantu.

In reality, the historical thread between the racial regime of the Hutu power in Rwanda of 30 years ago and the current one in Burundi is dictated by identical visions of a racial society. From a party that claimed to be the spokesperson for the oppressed Hutu masses, the CNDD suffered the same fate as Juvenal Habyarimana’s Rwandan party, MRND. Both parties progressively transformed into dictatorial parties formed by mafia interests determined to recklessly plunder national wealth to the detriment of the people.

Both the MRND (from the 1960s to the 1990s) and the CNDD (from 2005 to the present) masked their true intentions with anti-Tutsi rhetoric conceived from the 1957 political text: Note on the social aspect of the indigenous racial problem in Rwanda, known as the Bahutu Manifesto, the Mein Kampf, with an African ethnic flavor, from which the ideology of ethnic social redemption originated: Hutu Power. In Rwanda, this ideology had its disastrous epilogue in 1994. In Burundi, there were several genocide attempts in the sixties, seventies and nineties, until today.

Since then, the CNDD-FDD has always defended the racial ideology of Hutu Power more out of political opportunism than ideological conviction.

As happened in 1994, in Rwanda, with the extremists of the Habyarimana regime, the CNDD-FDD also used racial supremacy, aimed at avenging the Hutu masses of the supposed dictatorships of the Tutsis, as a deceptive lure presented to the semi – Illiterate Hutu peasant masses.

The CNDD-FDD regime continues to promote propaganda that takes up the most extreme and violent clichés of the racial hatred of the Hutu power of Rwanda that led to the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis. Burundian Tutsis are deprived of a national identity. They are Ethiopians and they should go back to where they came from. They are described as dogs that “feed on the blood of the Hutu.”

This propaganda is spread by the CNDD-FDD regime, Imbonerakure, the official media, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission led by an idealologist of Hutu power, Pierre Claver Ndayicariye, very close to the genocidal forces of Rwanda, the FDLR, an extremist journalist called Kenny Claude Nduwimana, and by the Burundian Goebells, Willy Nyamitwe.