Courtesy Call Between H.E Mr. Gamaliel Nkurunziza, Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi and the Hon. Dr. Jan Anthonie Bruijn, President of the Senate of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
The Burundian Ambassador’s, H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza recently paid a visit to the President of the Dutch Senate, during which the current political situation was discussed, whereby Mr. Nkurunziza explained the emphasis on harboring security in the country, as well as the upcoming 2020 general elections in Burundi.
The discussion of H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza and Hon. Mr. Bruijn also brought an exchange of views on the relations between Burundi, the Netherlands, and the European Union on the one hand, as well as those between Burundi and the Region of the Large Lakes on the other hand.
H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza explained that peace and security are a reality in Burundi, which allows the population to pursue their ordinary activities in all parts of the country. However, the Burundian Ambassador emphasised the need of a political alternation at the top, which was initiated by party CNDD FDD and marked a historical act of the highest democratic value.
Remarkably enough, it is officially the first time in Burundi to see a changeover at the top of the political party in power. Indeed, on January 26th, the CNDD-FDD Extraordinary Congress resulted in a peaceful election of Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye as the candidate to the presidential election. The choice for Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye was well-received, as he is believed to be an apt candidate for the party as well as for Burundi for a number of reasons, principally as his primary goals are the promotion of unity, justice and development in Burundi.
What is more, his past professional experience as the Minister of Interior, the Chief of the Office of the President, and as the Secretary General of the Ruling Party granted him the skills and knowledge required to rule the country effectively.
With regard to the subject of the general elections, the Burundian Ambassador expressed the goal of securing that the 2020 elections in Burundi will be more peaceful, more transparent and more inclusive. Indeed, the increasing number of candidates underscores this fact, thereby giving way to a historic first moment since the coming of the democratic era in Burundi.
Later in the conversation,the Burundian Ambassador pointed out that the present achievements are the result of the legal and organizational framework established by the government. For instance, the Electoral Code and its structures of coordination and executions on all levels, as well as a consensual roadmap between the political parties for the 2020, have been put in place.
Moreover, Mr. Nkurunziza indicated that the electoral process is progressing smoothly and successfully owing to an allocated budget, which was financed by Burundians themselves, and thereby presented another memorable moment in Burundi’s history.
As far as relations between Burundi, the Netherlands and European Union are concerned, the Ambassador appreciated the co-operation and friendly relations between Burundi and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, he stressed the former’s appeal for the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the negotiations with the European Union aimed at removing sanctions taken wrongfully against Burundi, as well as to support the country in its implementation of the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2027).
“Burundi is a country full of opportunities in a varied range of domains, and thus we need investors to come to Burundi and work together on a win –win basis.”
In the words of Mr. Nkurunziza, the motivations of the sanctions appear to be unjust given that the elements referred to by the European Union differ from the real situation on ground in Burundi, where the respect of human rights, good governance, freedom of expression, democratic values and political space are a reality.
In the light of this positive evolution, Ambassador Nkurunziza solicited the EU to stop these unilateral sanctions of which the Burundian population is ultimately the victim. Mr. Nkurunziza also reiterated his invocation to the Netherlands in particular, and the EU in general, to reconsider their views on the security in Burundi. More specifically, Mr. Nkurunziza pointed out that the 2015 events are not the correct references anymore, hence Burundi should accordingly be removed from the UN Agenda.
Concerning Burundi’s relationships within the Great Lakes Region, H.E. Mr. Nkurunziza explained that Burundi lives in perfect harmony with all the countries of the region, with the exception of Rwanda. “We deplored this situation of Rwanda in conflict with all the countries of the region including its neighboring Burundi. Rwanda continues to set off social media so as to destabilize Burundi, and to show panic within the Burundian population.”
Finally, this audience was also an optimal opportunity to exchange the domestic and external policies for the pursuit of common interests.