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Major Pierre Buyoya and Burundi’s politics

Major Pierre Buyoya (born 24 November 1949 in Rutovu, Bururi Province) is a Burundian politician who has ruled Burundi twice, from 1987 to 1993 and the longest serving Burundian President. In September 1987, Buyoya led a military coup d’état against the Second Republic of Burundi, led by Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, and installed himself as the first president of the Third Republic. He proclaimed an agenda of liberalization and patching relations between Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups, but presided over an oppressive ruling junta consisting primarily of Tutsi. This led to a Hutu uprising in August 1988, which caused approximately 20,000 deaths. After these killings, Buyoya appointed a commission to find a way to mediate the violence. This commission created a new constitution that Buyoya approved in 1992. This constitution called for a nonethnic government with a president and a parliament. Democratic elections were held in June 1993 and were won by the Hutu Melchior Ndadaye who created a balanced Hutu and Tutsi government. Nevertheless, the army assassinated Ndadaye in October 1993 and Burundi returned to civil war. Nearly 150,000 people were killed as the war raged. There were numerous attempts at government, but even the coalition government under Sylvestre Ntibantunganya was unable to stop the fighting.
Had not been the Peace Accord of Arusha in 2005, Major Buyoya would have been in power till today. The outcome of Arusha accord made it possible to mix ethnic groups in the military forces, and the majority Hutu also had chance to participate in the government. Pierre Buyoya belongs to minority Tutsi community whose desire to lead Burundi is inextinguishable. Parliament elected Pierre Nkurunziza from majority Hutu community to be the President. He was elected by the public in 2010 and he won. In 2015, Major Buyoya warned Nkurunziza not to run for the Third Term. His appeal fell in the deaf ears and Nkurunziza went ahead for elections.
Some members of the CNDD-FDD party of Nkurunziza advised him not to run for the 3rd term since it was going to create crisis and conflict. Those who signed against the 3rd term have since left the country, lost their prominent jobs, or killed. The majority party is now divided and in crisis. Nkurunziza has lost most of his prominent officers since his re-election to the 3rd term in office. There is bloodshed in Bujumbura where systematic killings are going on. Who is behind the killings is not known. What is real is that the President is being isolated from his best guards and confidants.
What happens if Pierre Buyoya has interest in the presidency? What happens if Mr. Kagame of Rwanda is in support of a Tutsi lead government in Burundi? What happens if Yoweri K. Museveni is also in support of a Tutsi lead government in the troubled region? What happens if President Nkurunziza loses all his strong men and women in the government positions and the ruling party? What will happen if the killers finally target the President? What will happen if Tutsi leader gets into power in Burundi? There are many hypothetical answers towards these questions. But one thing is certain, never take Major Buyoya and President Kagame for granted in this region. Never forget the rivalry between Tutsi and Hutu in the region. IT IS THE REGION FLOATING ON MINERAL WEALTH.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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