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.

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.


Burundi army won't intervene in crisis

18 February 2014, 06:42

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.

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...