It is now clear that the Republic of Burundi is in perpetual turmoil. The killings have increased of late that involves also top security officers. Bujumbura has not seen peace since President Nkurunziza was sworn in for the 3rd Term in office against the constitution and Arusha I agreement.The killing of General Athanase Kararuza and his wife are signs that the government is not in control of the situation. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited the country to talk peace and reconciliation to the President. Several world dignitaries have called the President to take charge of the situation. There is tit-for-tat killings in the nation whose peace has been fragile under the watch of the African Union. The country is no longer safe for journalists and civil society members working closer to the people.
The prominent questions in this blog, why can’t the President stand out to prove to the people that he is their rightfully elected president? Why are Burundians not honoring the Arusha I Agreement? Why is Burundi not taking the call of the international community seriously? Why are security men killing their targeted enemies? Who is now protecting the rights of the citizens in Burundi while the President is busy with his football team and prayer sessions? How far shall The Hague based ICC Prosecutor Ms Fatou Bensouda help to stop the evil from happening? The Rome Statute will only punish those who have violated the law but will not bring peace, stability and reconciliation to the people whose statehood is already contaminated.
When President Nkurunziza attended the meeting in Dar-es-Salam organized by East African leaders, there was coup attempt that almost saw him out of power. He managed, through the help of security men and women to get back his power. Since that time the President has never traveled out of Burundi in fear of losing his power. But the question is, how can the Head of State and government fail to travel? Shall this help stop civil unrest and ethnic division in Burundi? Who are the key persons that determine the future of the country? The President behaves as if there is nothing serious and he has the control over the situation while there is blood letting in the nation.
Some of those who worked closer to him but escaped his wrath when he turned against them since they opposed his 3rd term have managed to organize Arusha II that will begin on 2nd of May 2016, almost a year after his coup attempt. The conference shall be chaired by former Tanzanian President and a statesman, Benjamin Mkapa after President Yoweri Museveni had failed to settle the problem,
Burundi needs urgent intervention from the international community. The same president had resisted any international intervention and saying that any African Union peacekeepers seen in Burundi shall be attacked by the forces. He the President turned hostile to the outside world whenever he feels his power is threatened. In ethics, when risks are high, it is the life of the people that counts. Burundi has suffered for a long time. So many innocent lives have been lost and the country has never healed from the past mistakes. The Tutsi and the Hutu have never trusted each other as operations of killing learned nationals had almost paralyzed the state.
All East African countries have the moral obligation to intervene in the situation of Burundi especially Kenya. Kenya shares no border with Burundi and remains the safest and neutral negotiator when it comes to the current Burundi politics. But Rwanda, Uganda, DRC, and Tanzania can do practically too little to calm the situation which is already getting out of hand.
Arusha II shall practically bear no fruit if the President decides not to attend nor to send his delegates. Believe it or not, the problem of Burundi is deeper than what one may imagine this time. The Arusha I accord has never been respected by the administration in place. African Union should never be proud by not stepping up its effort to restore peace in Burundi. The time is now. The President must be forced to suspend his football matches and attend to the nation. No more bicycle riding when there are corpses on the streets. What world are we trying to imagine?
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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!


  1. The individuals and organizations behind the Arusha II must be well prepared first. The conference may not take off on 2nd of May due to failure on the part of preparations. The Burundian situation is very sophisticated as there are many issues that the conference must look at before hand. I can’t dismiss the participation of the sitting president since it is crucial.

  2. Nkurunziza may have legal rights to be president but the on-goings in Burundi have eroded his moral right to lead.

    • Some of his supporters believe that it is only Nkurunziza that can take them to the promised land…what is your take on this? Still most of the Hutus extremists believe that without one of their own they are all dead since the Tutsi leadership brought about ethnic cleansing and elimination of some educated Hutus. This includes the unfortunate assassination of President Ndadaye, the first Hutu president, in 1993 after he had democratically won the elections. Many courageous Hutu including Nkurunziza had to run to the bush and wage guerrilla warfare against the ruling of Pierre Buyoya (now living in Mali). Arusha I spearheaded by the late President Mwalimu Nyerere then followed by the late President Mandela managed to strike a deal for Burundi in 2005. But seemingly, the peace accord has not yet been honored fully by some cliche’, a thing that brings dramatic crisis. God Bless Burundi!

      • What is evolving right now in Burundi is vendetta. You kill one of our own and we kill one of your own. The Generals in the military are more vulnerable. Remember that the Arusha I approved mixed military in a 50-50 basis. Another issue is that some evil bent persons tend to commit crimes to justify their rejection of the 3rd term of the president. Again we should not dismiss external factors in the Burundian situation. There must be some well founded reasons to believe that some states are interfering in the internal affairs of Burundi.

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