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Burundi Celebrating 60 Years of Independence 

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By Roy Lie Atjam

Wassenaar, 9 July 2022. In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the independence of Burundi, H.E. Ambassador Gamaliel Nkurunziza invited  ambassadors, chief of missions, Burundians and friends of Burundi to a garden party reception that brought together hundreds of persons.

Noticeable was a recorded voice message by the 92 years old Madam Rene Irampa, une ancienne combattante, who graced the celebration. In her message Madam Irampa thanked the Embassy for organizing the event and stated, as a combatant she would have loved to participate in the celebration. Rene Irampa briefly touched on the Burundian independence process and urged her compatriots to safeguard the values of independence and honour those who fought for it.

A festive atmosphere set the tone for a vibrant independence day celebration. It has been a delight to see Burundians and friends having a great time. Here is a synopsis of the remarks by Ambassador Gamaliel Nkurunziza.

“It is my honour, on behalf of the Government of Burundi, to address you on the celebration of the 60th anniversary of our Independence. Before I go on with my speech, I would like to invite you to sing together the National Anthem of Burundi which was sung the day of our Independence.

At first, I would like to thank the Ambassadors of South Africa, Rwanda, Argentina, Cameroon, Morocco, the representatives of the diplomatic missions of Tanzania,  Kenya as well as the friends of Burundi for having responded to our invitation and accompanying the Burundians to the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Burundi.

This is a special and great day for Burundians. As we have listened to the song of our Independence, we must take the lyrics of our National Anthem as guidance because it is full of inspiration and teachings. It reflects the image of our country.

Burundians must therefore take the lyrics of our national anthem to heart, and put into practice in everything they do, in everything they say, and in their behaviour such as the wish to “be respected at the international level” which is contained in the national anthem. Consequently, the Nation will respect Burundi because “A Man is respected as he is”.  “to have a significant place in the realm of the concert of the nations” (Shinga icumu mu mashinga) which is a patriotic value and behaviour characterizing someone who is independent especially Burundian.

According to the Speech of the Hero of Independence, we are all invited to evaluate our progress through our reflection of different values such as: patriotism, integrity, unity, humanity. True Burundians are known by these values.

Today is an important day for our country and for Burundians living here in the Netherlands. This is time to make up our mind because this day we celebrate our Independence Day is a good opportunity to take a look on were we come from and where we are going especially in following steps for people who guided us in the process of fighting for our independence “The Prince Rudoviko Rwagasore” who sacrificed his life so that Burundian can be independent, his will always be our hero. 

I therefore invite every Burundian who resides in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to come and work together. Nothing should separate us. I noticed all Burundians in their differences are here to celebrate our Independence Day.

As promised, I encourage everyone willing to support our independence, especially in the angle of developing our country, to feel free and join me as your servant.

As Burundians, we need to be proud of our country because we are going to have a better future.  In order to strengthen that love, I would like to emphasize on the speech of our President H.E Evariste Ndayishimiye, which he delivered on the eve of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the independence of Burundi, we are commemorating today.  

In the speech  our President, called on all of us and our different backgrounds to be united in order to contribute to the development of our country Burundi. 

Leta Mvyeyi, Leta Nkozi has given a strong signal that when we are united, we become stronger. It is time we turned the page of our history because our differences are our strengths to build our country. Our President, his Excellency Evariste Ndayishimiye, has become the chief Commander of our country Development and urged us to follow his commandment. 

As Ambassador of Burundi, I strongly call on every Burundian to contribute to our country’s development. I also urge you to stop slandering your country. Because no matter what, Burundi will always remain your country, you will never get another one. You can obtain as many citizenships as you like, but Burundi will always be your first country and will always welcome you back as a mother does.

I therefore invite all of you to be ambassadors of Burundi where you live, in your neighbours, your friends and make them know that Burundi is a country full of opportunities and potentialities. Make them interested in your country. 

As Ambassador, I will serve as a bridge so that your wishes and projects can be achieved in the way of contributing to the development of Burundi and Burundians.  

It is true that I am one Ambassador, but I am unable to reach all friends of Burundi as the ones you are neighbouring with or who you brought here.

In a recent past, some Burundians tried to destroy the image of Burundi, this is against our values.

Burundians celebrating 60 Years of Independence at the residence of ambassador Nkurunziza.

His Excellency the President has asked us to be watching the time, Burundians  must change, times have changed. Our country underwent difficulties for decennia, but those difficulties taught us. Now our country, Leta mvyeyi, Leta Nkozi in front of us invites us to achieve projects that every Burundian will benefit from, everything will come from us.

I am an Ambassador at a leading position and you are also ambassadors at your levels. We are called to promote the image of our country, and this will lead to the true development of our country.

Let us build Burundi for the future of our children and generations to come. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Burundians living in the Netherlands the ones who were able to get here today also the one who could not be here because of others obligations for being united like I found them, I hope that the spirit of unity, integrity and humanity you showed me will always be the motto of Burundian community in the Netherlands and that is what has always characterized Burundians. Since my arrival in the Netherlands, whenever I needed you, you responded positively and massively.

This shows me that tomorrow is bright and that the future holds many good surprises for us. I thank you so much for your sacrifice. Let us remain united, let us contribute to the promotion of the image of our country and most importantly, let us focus on the development of Burundi. Enjoy this celebration of our 60th Independence Day.

May God Bless you all.” end quote.

For sure,  it has been an unforgettable independence day celebration.

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