23 October 2017

Burundi: CNARED - 'Real Opposition'

The opposition coalition in exile-CNARED issued a statement on October 16. It lays into the Burundian Ombudsman, the Arusha facilitation and some opposition parties. All of them would be participating in the sabotage of the ongoing dialogue.

Edouard Nduwimana? "The zealous servant of an illegal and illegitimate government of Bujumbura. The internal political opposition? Parallel and pirate opposition. CNARED has not left behind the facilitation led by Mkapa as it accused him of scuttling the process.

The communiqué was mainly centered on Edouard Nduwimana, the Ombudsman. A zealous activist at the service of President Nkurunziza, he would do whatever it takes to undermine the Arusha process on the exit from the crisis. In essence, he is accused by CNARED of wanting to keep the platform out of the dialogue. To achieve this, Edouard Nduwimana offers the opposition in Burundi an opportunity to reunite their parties or the possibility of a coalition just to make it the only interlocutor against Bujumbura. Consequently, CNARED condemns what it calls "Edouard Nduwimana's shameless cheating that is unworthy of an ombudsman."

"Parallel and pirate opposition, referred to as internal"

CNARED fears that it will be removed from the list of participants in the Arusha dialogue. According to the coalition, the Ombudsman uses Agathon Rwasa of FNL, Evariste Ngayimpenda of UPRONA of the opposition, Juvénal Ngorwanubusa of MRC party and Zénon Nimubona of PARENA party.

The chairman of this platform, Charles Nditije, says these political opposition entities have fallen into the ombudsman's trap. He has increased meetings with them since the session of Kayanza and promised them the reunification of the parties or the creation of a coalition.

According to the coalition of the opposition in exile, "these political entities under the leadership of Mr. Nduwimana must be regarded as emanations from the de facto power of Bujumbura and consequently its acolytes."

The statement goes on to demand that negotiations take place between the government and its satellites operating in Burundi and the "real opposition" that is CNARED. He concluded: "The internal political opposition can never replace CNARED.

The facilitation led by Benjamin Mkapa is not left behind. For the platform of the opposition in exile, the former must stop its dilatory maneuvers. These machinations would have no other objectives than the scuttling and refusal of the inclusive negotiations with the real opposition.

The Burundian Ombudsman, Edouard Nduwimana, was contacted to comment on the accusations by CNARED but said he did not wish to react at the moment.

The presidential office, which is accused by CNARED of using the Ombudsman to sabotage the ongoing dialogue, said, through the senior adviser to the president, Willy Nyamitwe, "that it would better to look into the statement first prior to answering to the remarks by Mr. Charles Nditije.


Agathon Rwasa: "CNARED gives the impression of being tired"

This political actor said he was surprised that Cnared taxed him of being in the pay of Mr Nduwimana because he participated in the meeting that was held in Kayanza. "A few days after the meeting, the Ombudsman met with CNARED in Helsinki. Does that also mean that the platform is in his pay? "Agathon Rwasa criticized the coalition. "They are tired. They were fighting against the CNDD-FDD system, but now they are fighting the other opposition parties. The first deputy speaker of the National Assembly does not understand why the opposition in exile thinks it is more legitimate, just because it is in exile. "Do you find it normal that those who have decided to stay in the country to defend the cause at a great risk of their lives are the servants Nkurunziza? He asks CNARED to stop distracting people and prove its superiority by actions. He concluded: "I would like to tell CNARED to be focused. It gives the impression of being tired. "

Evariste Ngayimpenda invites the coalition to more wisdom and modesty

This political actor of UPRONA of the opposition ensures that the four political entities created by Nduwimana according to CNARED are all a political emergence of the latter and even of CNDD-FDD.

According to Evariste Ngayimpenda, these political entities cannot be their creation and Nditije cannot arrogate to himself the right to shorten their history. "Our proposal to end the crisis has been made public. Curiously, CNARED says nothing and offers no better.

Mr Ngayimpenda assures that replacing CNARED has never been in the mind of the internal opposition.

This opposition was born and began to function long before the creation of CNARED and independently of the existence and objectives of the latter. "We would like to call on the coalition to act more wisely and modestly. For him, the coalition should in no way impose on the entire opposition that it is its only accredited representative. And the duality between internal and external opposition is a false question unless both have no cause to defend. If they have one, it will be all the better defended because it will be so much from the inside as from the outside.

Juvénal Ngorwanubusa: "It's our right to discuss with any party"

MRC party president does not understand why CNARED attacked him. Juvénal Ngorwanubusa says he is against the policy of the empty chair, what made him participate in the session of Kayanza. "It's our right to discuss with any party." He assures that he does not defend the Ombudsman, who supports the desiderata of the regime in place. However, he had to listen to him if he wanted to be heard. "We are driven by the values of "ubushingantahe-wisdom" ."According to Juvénal Ngorwanubusa, it is normal to debate with opponents to defend his opinions. In addition, he said he and other political groups produced a document detailing their proposals for an end to the crisis. "CNARED can still criticize our proposals to improve them."

When an ad hominem argument takes precedence over a real debate

"The political entities under the leadership of Mr. Nduwimana must be regarded as the emanations of the de facto power of Bujumbura and consequently as its acolytes. They cannot in any way constitute an alternative to a real opposition, much less to the political platform CNARED, "reads the CNARED press release of October 16th.

The opposition makes an appeal to former Tanzanian president in charge of the external aspect of the inter-Burundi dialogue: "We appeal to the facilitation led by His Excellency President Benjamin Mkapa to stop its dilatory maneuvers that have no other objectives than the scuttling and refusal of inclusive negotiations with the real opposition."

"Opposing without proposing is only an outburst of temper," said the French writer Robert Sabatier.

Insult and calumny can in no way be used as a force of proposition. MRC and PARENA parties as well as political actors such as Agathon Rwasa and Evariste Ngayimpenda, signatories of a road map to end the crisis, are accused of working with the "de facto power of Bujumbura". Were they guilty of complicity by producing a document that made sheep's eye to the regime in place? Not being a member of CNARED is their only crime. The latter pretends to show that it is the only "true opposition", thus annihilating ipso facto any possibility of coexistence with other political forces.

CNARED outburst of temper reveals a common denominator with what it calls the "de facto power of Bujumbura": The denial of the reality. One about a diagnosis -No ongoing politico-security crisis - which triggered the failure to respect the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi and the Constitution which is its result. The other one is over the quality of "real opposition": Outside the platform is a vacuum.

Beyond the legitimate struggle for positioning during the next round of inter-Burundian dialogue in Arusha, the challenge - the way out of the crisis - requires a certain level of view from all stakeholders.

By Agnès Ndirubusa. Tanslated by Pierre Emmanuel Ngendakumana


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