Uhuru Meets Nkurunziza as Tensions Rise in Burundi


During the meeting on Friday at State House Nairobi, seek President Nkurunziza briefed President Kenyatta on the situation in Burundi which is expected to hold its general elections next year.

The meeting follows heightened pressure on Burundi amid reports that government is training and arming a militant youth group ahead of the 2015 presidential elections.

This week, Special Envoys for the Great Lakes region recently expressed concern over the shrinking political space and heightened security tensions in Burundi, warning President Pierre Nkurunziza that suppressing dissent could undermine efforts to maintain peace and stability in a country that lost millions of people in a bloody three-decade war.

The Envoys said they were “very concerned about the constraints on political space and civil liberties which hinder the efforts of the opposition, civil society, and the media, in the lead up to elections in 2015.”

It further read: “Burundi has made commendable progress in overcoming a history of conflict, but that progress risks being lost if action is taken to undermine the electoral process and prevent the full participation of all stakeholders. An election is more than a day; it is a process. Only if the electoral process is inclusive, transparent, and peaceful, can the election itself be considered free, fair and credible.”

The envoys who met President Nkurunziza and shared their common analysis on the situation in Burundi, said “any effort to prevent meetings, intimidate participants, or undermine the opposition jeopardizes the process and runs counter to the Burundian government’s expressed commitment to democracy.”

Uhuru Meeting

In his meeting with Uhuru, the Burundi leader affirmed his country’s commitment to the East African Community and its agenda on integration and political federation.

He informed President Kenyatta on the preparations for the 52nd Burundian independence anniversary to be held in the coming month and extended invitation to Kenya.

President Kenyatta expressed his gratitude to the Burundi leader saying the two countries have a lot to share as members of the East African Community and also as partners in development.

President Kenyatta who is also the chairman of the East African community briefed President Nkurunziza on the last EAC Heads of State Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania, and Infrastructure summit held in Nairobi.

President Nkurunziza was also briefed on the signing of an agreement on the financing of the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway project.

The signing of the agreement which was witnessed by regional leaders and the Chinese Premier Li Kekiang, sees the Chinese finance the 609 Kilometer Nairobi-Mombasa stretch.

Under the agreement signed on May 11th, Sh213 billion of the Chinese loan will go towards Standard Gauge Railway while Sh106 million will finance procurement of locomotives and wagons.

The two leaders also shared updates on the forthcoming Infrastructure summit to be held on 3rd July this year in Kigali, Rwanda.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy President William Ruto and the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Amb. Amina Mohamed.


Burundi remains a fragile country after enduring three decades of a bloody conflict.

Chimpreports recently broke news of a UN cable leaked to the U. S Envoy to United Nations, Samantha Power, reading, “there was distribution of weapons and military outfits to the youth affiliated to the ruling CNDD-FDD (Imbonerakure) party and the demobilised ex-AIMP Rumonge.”

A UN official in Bujumbura said in the “confidential” memo to his bosses in New York on April 3, 2014 that “a meeting was held in a hotel known as Kukanyamuneza belonging to a ‘Brigadier General’ in Nduwumunsi in Rumonge” to draw a plan on doling out the weapons.

He further observed that a night training for the handling of these weapons was held near the Central Prison of Rumonge (Kumurembwe) and that the surrounding population heard the gunfire.

“One can only speculate about the purpose of the distribution of weapons and uniforms in Bururi which is a traditional stronghold of the UPRONA.” Burundi remains a fragile country after enduring three decades of a bloody conflict.


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