Burundi army won't intervene in crisis

2014-02-17 22:16

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bujumbura - Burundi's national army said on Monday it would not intervene in the worst political crisis to grip the east African country since a 12-year civil war ended nearly a decade ago.

Burundi, which has a complex power-sharing system between the majority Hutus and other minority groups, fought a deadly civil war that ended in 2005 during which the then Tutsi-dominated army fought against Hutu rebels.

The country was plunged into uncertainty earlier this month after three ministers from the minority Tutsi-led Uprona party quit the coalition government when the president sacked his Tutsi deputy, also from Uprona.

The turmoil deepened on Sunday when riot police clashed with members of Uprona who were attending a meeting to vote on party leaders, firing tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The coalition government is set up under power-sharing arrangements that limit the majority Hutus to 60% of posts in the government and parliament, and guarantees the rest to the minority Tutsis.

Under the same arrangements, the army leadership is split between Hutus and Tutsis.

"There are rumours saying the army will interfere in the current crisis, we want to reassure that the army is united from the bottom to the top," defence minister Major General Pontien Gaciyubwenge told a news conference.

"The constitution demands police and army corps to observe neutrality and we have to respect that. Politicians have to resolve their problems and avoid involving defence and security forces in their business," he said, flanked by colleagues from the security, interior and justice ministries.

The departure of the three ministers has raised fears of greater ethnic tension in a country already reeling from more than a decade of war, and in a region already grappling with violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.

On Friday, Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza appointed a deputy to his power-sharing cabinet, angering rivals who said the move was part of his plan to change the law and allow him to remain in power beyond the maximum two terms.

Critics say the new deputy, Prosper Bazombanza, backs plans to change the constitution.

Presidential and parliamentary elections are due in 2015. The presidency has made no comment despite several requests.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Low voter turnout in Togo

2015-04-26 20:33

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.