Burundi. Gays are the cause of the Covid19 pandemic says President Ndayishimiye
Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Monday, August 24, declared that gays are the cause of the Covid19 pandemic worldwide. A serious homophobic act that puts gays at risk in a country that has been hit by a serious political crisis and numerous crimes against humanity for five years. While homosexuals are blamed, Covid19 is rampant in the country, infecting thousands of people and killing dozens of them.
The president of Burundi: Evariste Ndayishimiye in a public meeting held on Monday 24 August said that gays are the cause of the Covid19 pandemic. As evidence, he points out that Western countries that support or have legalized homosexuality are the countries most affected by the pandemic. This is what the Mashariki TV television network reports showing the video of the rally in Kirundi language. The Burundian president also uttered vitriolic words against opposition leaders in exile wishing them to die for supporting LGBT rights.
The homophobic speech delivered by the Burundian Head of State worries the associations in defense of human rights as the African country is going through a long political crisis originating from the intention of the previous president Pierre Nkurunziza to access a third term in April 2015. The popular protests were brutally repressed in blood. Made unpopular due to political decision and miraculously escaped a coup carried out by the democratic forces of the army Nkurunziza transformed the youth wing of the CNDD-FDD party: Imbonerakure (those who see far away) into an armed militia to use it against the defenseless population and he makes a political and military alliance with the Rwandan FDLR terrorists (Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda) responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Since April 2005, a bloody orgy has been unleashed in Burundi that still rages today. The regime regularly and daily commits assassinations, violations of human rights and instigates racial and social hatred. In this climate, blaming homosexuals for being the cause of the pandemic that is bringing the entire planet to its knees and causing numerous bereaved in Burundi, can encourage the Imbonerakure militias to attack and kill Burundian gays if they are still in country having not chosen the path of exile like other 400,000 citizens who have become refugees in various African countries and in Europe.
In 2001, the lower house of the Burundian parliament passed legislation that criminalizes homosexual relationships and all “misleading” attitudes of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The law was rejected by the Senate as discriminatory but President Nkurunziza overturned the decision and signed the law on April 22, 2003. The sentences range from three months to two years in prison and a not well quantified fine. To support the law in 2003 a march against homosexuality was organized in Bujumbura (former capital of Burundi) in which 10,000 people took part. The march was called by the youth wing of the party: the Imbonerakure which has not yet become a paramilitary organization. The 2003 law represented a marked regression of the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Previously, same-sex relationships were legal.
In delivering this violent homophobic speech, President Evariste Ndayishimiye has made a grave mistake. After the crackdown on popular demonstrations in April 2015, then President Nkurunziza, the entire government and various army generals were the subject of an investigation at the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. To escape judgment, Burundi decided to leave the ICC member state. In 2016, the United States and the European Union imposed heavy economic sanctions due to the crimes against humanity committed by the regime. The sanctions have caused the African country’s economy to collapse.
Evariste Ndayishimiye was appointed President two months ago following blatant electoral fraud. The overwhelming majority of the population had voted for the opposition leader: Agathon Rwasa. His government is mainly composed of Generals and Colonels, including Marshal Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni who has been entrusted with the position of Prime Minister despite being under investigation by the ICC for his active role in the massacre of thousands of defenseless and peaceful protesters during the protests of April 2015. The United States imposed Ad Personam sanctions on him.
In the first weeks of his mandate, President Ndayishimiye played the reformer’s card, favored by the sudden death of the dictator Pierre Nkurunziza. As the new Head of State he had promised various democratic openings, thus managing to open a dialogue with the European Union, which was arising the possibility to abolishing economic sanctions on the condition of real changes towards democracy. The wind of reform lasted less than a month. Peace talks with neighboring Rwanda have been suspended while violence against the population has doubled.
Now the threatening homophobic speeches create another obstacle for the resumption of economic relations with the European Union and the States United because both are particularly sensitive to everything related to threats against sexual minorities and (rightly) consider any homophobic speech as a crime, even worse if delivered by a President. One more reason to strengthen the regime’s isolation from the rest of the world and to maintain economic sanctions.
The juxtaposition between homosexuality and Covid19 is yet another chapter in a dramatic saga in the management of the pandemic in Burundi. In February 2020 when all other African countries were taking preventive measures to contain the pandemic that had claimed thousands of lives in China, Asia and Europe, President Nkurunziza said that Burundi had been spared by God and that the Coronavirus was an invention of the westerners. The refusal to contain the pandemic was motivated by the need to call elections in May 2020. During the election campaign, the regime encouraged political rallies with tens of thousands of people, helping to foster the contagion. Anyone who dared to wear a mask was arrested. Those infected in a serious state of health who went to the hospital were picked up by the police and made to disappear.
Burundi is currently among the countries most exposed to Covid19 but the regime continues to deny the reality. From absolute denial, there was an underestimation of cases and deaths. According to the Ministry of Health, only 143 cases of contagion and 1 death have been recorded to date. Unrealistic data as in Bujumbura alone the population reported 14 deaths from Covid19 last week. News confirmed by health sources in the former Burundian capital, while Caritas Burundi confirms 10 deaths nationwide including a young 35-year-old priest.
The confusion on the data is due to the absence of serious monitoring of the pandemic. The Covid19 centers lack appropriate equipment and there is a frightening breakdown of reagents that prevents laboratory tests from being carried out. The international airport remains closed as the regime does not have enough funds to make the necessary international health changes.
To tackle the pandemic, the government has received $ 14 million from the international community. Recent investigations have shown that the regime has wiped out 10 million dollars stolen from the fight against the pandemic. Ironically, the dictator Pierre Nkurunziza died of complications after contracting Covid19. According to the official version, Nkurunziza would have died of an unspecified cardiac arrest.