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Monday, August 28, 2006
Politicians Arrest in Burundi Brings Government to Standstill
The government of Burundi continued its downward spiral this week with the arrest of former transitional President Domitien Ndayizeye. In addition, the government has extended its probe into the alleged coup plot by initiating an investigation into the role of former President Pierre Buyoya and former Parliament Speaker Leonce Ngendakumana.
Ndayizeye’s arrest followed a voted by the Burundian Senate lifting his immunity as a member of the Parliament and interrogation by the State Prosecutor. Both Burundian Prosecutor General Jean Bosco Ndikumana and Burundian Head of Intelligence, Major General Adolph Nshimilimana, accused Ndayizeye of being among the plotters.
This arrest, like the preceding ones, has been criticized and refuted. Burundi Democratic Front (FRODEBU) President Leonse Ngendakumana called the arrest arbitrary and illegal.
“As democracy fighters we can not plot to undermine a democratic government. Of course, we will continue to denounce the government’s mistakes and abuses using allowed means, but FRODEBU will never plot,” he said, refuting the charges against his political party and Ndayizeye.
Other Great Lakes Centre for Strategic Studies (GLCSS) sources consider Ndayizeye’s arrest as motivated by revenge because he is a member of a FRODEBU faction headed by Leonce Ngendakumana. This faction was involved in a dispute with the current government earlier in the year. It called for FRODEBU ministers to leave the government led by Conseil National pour la Defense de La Democracie- Force pour la Defance de la Democracie (CNDD-FDD) but the decision was opposed by another FRODEBU faction led by Dr Jean Minani.
The sources also explained that Ndayizeye is an associate of Pancrase Cimpaye, the director of “Aube de la Democratie”, which is a FRODEBU magazine critical of the CNDD-FDD led government. In the past, Cimpaye has claimed he was threatened by the government for his views.
GLCSS sources describe the Burundi government as at a stand still and in a state of political paralysis. According to these sources, many senior politicians have gone into hiding or have fled the country and additional arrest warrants have been issued for Ndayizeye’s former spokesperson, Pancrace Cimpaye, as well his former protocol chief Isai Simbare. In addition, the Parliament will soon act against Buyoya and current FRODEBU President Leonce Ngendakumana by limiting their immunity and, therefore, subjecting them to arrest.
The Great Lakes Centre for Strategic Studies is a London-based think tank.
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posted by GLCSS at 4:57 AM
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