Burundi. General Neva RFI & France24 interview to rehabilitate military junta boss image

RFI and France24 interviewed the head of Burundian military junta during his official visit to DRC. An interview agreed with the aim of rehabilitating the Burundian racial regime. Objective thwarted by General Neva who enjoyed making fun of the European Union and sending a clear message: reopen the taps of funding but we will not change our policy.

The head of the military junta in power in Burundi: General Neva, (registered under the name of: Evariste Ndayishimiye) gave his first interview to foreign media since he illegally occupied the presidency on June 18, 2020 thanks to sham elections.

General Neva, together with the Prime Minister, Marshal General Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni (ICC suspected for crimes against humanity), are suspected of having “facilitate” the death of HutuPower leader Pierre Nkurunziza which occurred due to “complications” from Covid19 at a provincial Burundian hospital: Karuzi Hospital, run by the Italian foundation Aiutiamo il Burundi.

The Burundian dictator passed away on 8 June 2020, thus allowing Neva and Bunyoni to take total control of the country and start a masquerade of democratic reforms to get out of international isolation. Masquerade impossible to attempt if Nkurunziza was still alive due to his racial and ideological fanaticism, which totally compromised the implementation of deceptive but opportunistically necessary diplomatic tactics. The mysterious death of Nkurunziza offered the possibility of promoting the diplomatic tricks currently in progress.

The interview has been done in Kinshasa (capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo) by Sonia Rolley, special envoy of RFI, and DRC France 24 correspondent Clément Bonnerot, during the presence of General Neva in Congo for a visit official from 12 to 14 July.

During his visit, Neva met with Congolese President Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi. A fruitful mission as burundian military junta managed to sign vital agreements aimed at strengthening the internal economy, due to the collapse of European sanctions and the systematic robbery of the country’s natural and financial resources carried out by General Neva, his Generals and by the Rwandan terrorist group FLDR. These terrorists since 2015 have played an active role in the political and military events of Burundi, transformed into a “safe haven” for Rwandan terrorists in great difficulty in neighboring Congo due to a military offensive ordered by President Tshisekedi.

Agreements have been sign on the construction of cross-border infrastructures with the aim of strengthening economic integration in the Great Lakes region. Infrastructure that will allow Burundi (landlocked country) to be more connected to regional markets. Among these infrastructures, the construction of bridges on the border river of the Ruzizi; the rehabilitation and electrification of the Bujumbura-Uvira-Bukavu-Goma road section and the development of the Gitega-Uvira-Kindu standard gauge railway. Another agreement was sign for the common agricultural exploitation in the Ruzizi plain.

Obviously, these agreements require foreign financing in the form of loans or direct investments, so it remains to be seen whether these infrastructures will be built in the short term considering the insecurity that still persists in eastern Congo and the known unreliability of the Burundian military junta. Two weeks ago, the World Bank blocked aid to Burundi as previous aid had “disappeared” from a financial audit.

What General Neva has ensured is the “benevolent” climate of the Congolese government which pledges to collaborate with Gitega for the “maintenance and strengthening of peace, defense and security”. An important result as President Tshisekedi up until a few months ago promoted a hostile policy towards Burundi.

There is no doubt that the visit to Kinshasa and the signed agreements represent a diplomatic success for the military junta of Gitega engaged in a strategy of reopening Burundi to international relations after years of closure and isolation wanted by the late Warlord Nkurunziza. A strategy recommended in early 2020 by well-known European supporters of the CNDD-FDD racial regime illegally in power since July 2015 and responsible for pogroms by political opponents and ethnic cleansing against the Tutsi minority. CNDD-FDD supporters that are hiding inside French Government and Catholic Church.

In the mention of joint efforts to maintain and strengthen regional peace, there is no note regarding the presence in Burundian territory of the Rwandan terrorist group FDLR, despite the threat it still represents in the eastern provinces of Congo. The current military efforts of Kinshasa against this terrorist group in the provinces of North and South Kivu, risk being thwarted precisely by the possibility of the FDLR to withdraw to Burundi, where they enjoy the absolute protection of the military junta. This safe heaven allows the FDLR to reorganize and return to occupy the rich Congolese territories of precious minerals when the bulk of the Congolese army will withdraw at the end of the ongoing anti-terrorist military operations.

During the interview, General Neva addresses three fundamental issues: the sanctions imposed by the European Union and the consequent resumption of dialogue with Brussels; the cold war with Rwanda and the opening of democratic spaces and the relationship with the opposition.

The issue of sanctions imposed by the European Union remains of great concern to General Neva who mentions it several times in the interview with RFI and France 24. “It is time to review this decision, I do not see the reasons for these sanctions”, explains the head of the military junta. In the interview, Neva affirms that the decision to impose sanctions taken in 2016 by the European Union has always been incomprehensible and the real reasons for this serious decision that damaged Burundi, have not yet been understood.

However, he assured the will of the military junta (which he defined as a democratic government) to collaborate with the EU and to take note of any defects to be corrected by ensuring that the Burundian “government” has as its primary objective the protection of human rights and the promotion of democracy. .

Lying claims. General Neva is aware of the reasons that led the EU in 2016 to impose heavy economic sanctions. Blatant and systematic violation of human rights and premeditated violence against the opposition, civil society and Tutsi ethnic minority, falling within the strategy of absolute power and the political project to establish of a mono-ethnic Hutu regime in Burundi, promoted by the dictator Pierre Nkurunziza.

The assurance given by the French media by General Neva on the will to protect human rights clashes with reality and the recent crime news in Burundi.

On Tuesday, July 13, while General Neva was on an official visit to Kinshasa, he allegedly ordered the kidnapping of an opposition leader: Elie Ngomirakiza, a first-order political executive of the opposition party: National Congress for Freedom — CNL who reported victory during the elections of May 2020. Victory stolen by the regime through blatant electoral fraud that allowed the illicit occupation of the presidency by General Neva and the government by the military junta.

Ngomirakiza was kidnapped by Burundian soldiers near DRC border. From the moment of the kidnapping until today there is no news of the opponent. His party claims that Ngomirakiza was murdered and his body buried in the nature reserve. General Neva would have entrusted the task to Lieutenant Colonel Aron Ndayishimiye, commander of the 212th operational battalion in the Rukoko nature reserve. Colonel Aron is known to be the material executor of several death sentences for opponents signed by Nkurunziza and later by General Neva.

Human rights defenders warn of the resurgence of cases of kidnapping, lynching and extra-judicial execution of opponents in Burundi. The CNL warns of the upward curve in cases of arrests and murders of its militants and party cadres. Precisely during the interview that General Neva granted to RFI and France24, the Burundian National Intelligence Service in collaboration with the paramilitary Imbonerakure militia kidnapped Merthus Mahoromeza, manager of the House of Passage of the City of Peace in the province of Gitega. Two other citizens, originally from the municipality of Buyengero, were kidnapped. These are Jean Pierre Ntakarutimana and Célestin Nimubona. The two cousins, militants of the CNL, were taken by SNR agents at the town hall of Bujumbura, an Asian neighborhood.

In the very interesting interview, the topic briefly addressed by Neva relating to relations with the European Union emerges. Since November 2020 European Union has opened a series of discussions with the Burundian military junta in order to examine whether the conditions exist for the repeal of the sanctions and the willingness of the Burundian “government” to respect human rights, freedom of the press, opposition parties and civil society.

General Neva affirms the existence of excellent relations with the EU diplomatic representation in Bujumbura, which would have already understood the good faith of the CNDD-FDD government. Now it is necessary that Brussels too can share the impressions of its representatives in Bujumbura in order to open new relations on a new basis of trust and mutual respect. The reference to the EU representative in Burundi is clear: Claude Bochu who, dissociating himself from the necessary diplomatic rigor, flaunts on social networks, (including the official pages of the EU in Burundi), his friendship and admiration for the junta he defines as a “democratically elected government”.

General Neva’s wish that Brussels too can share the impressions of its representatives in Bujumbura. General Neva has tray to hide the military junta fears that the opposition clearly expressed by the Burundian and international associations in defense of human rights and the opposition that has arisen within the European Parliament where various MEPs judge the abolition of sanctions too soon, may derail the goal of regaining European financial support.

A financial support that would be used to buy weapons, strengthen political power and the personal bank accounts of the regime’s hierarchs instead of improving the dramatic living conditions of the population, as the case of the World Bank funds undoubtedly demonstrates.

When asked about the arrests of opponents, General Neva compares the opponents to criminals who would hide in political parties. “When one is a criminal, one remains one. He has no political party”, says Neva shamelessly denying any accusations of extrajudicial execution and kidnappings.

Even on relations with neighboring Rwanda, the head of the military junta, he struggles to answer. He affirms the existence of a reconciliation process with positive developments thanks to a reconsideration of tensions since 2015 by both sides. He regrets the presence of Burundian “criminals” in Rwanda, referring to the defecting Generals and various political and civil society leaders in exile in Kigali to avoid being slaughtered by the regime.

The French journalists who interviewed him carefully avoided citing international reports on the escalation of violence and crimes of the junta observed since the beginning of Neva’s “presidential” mandate, with the clear intention not to embarrass him. Any journalist, listening to the interview, understands that it has been agree in advance. There is the clear impression that RFI and France24 had to do a “pleasure” to their European friends who have been working hard for at least two years for the rehabilitation of a regime portrayed as eager for democratic reforms. In reality, Burundian military junta has not given up and will not give up his project of mono-ethnic domination of Burundi, considered not as a country but as their personal bank.

At the same time as this rehabilitation project there is also a military junta attempt made in Burundi to make people believe that there are strong and clear political conflicts between General Neva and Prime Minister Bunyoni: the first representative of the doves within the CNDD-FDD; the second of the hawks. The differences between the two leaders of the military junta exist but concern the “booty” to be share.

Despite all the assurances made free of charge, Evariste Ndayishimiye remains a staunch supporter of racial domination of which concepts such as human rights or democracy are not only alien to him but unacceptable The European Union must remember the boomerang experience of another “reformer” African: Ethiopian Premier Abiy Ahmed Ali. Only 3 years after the trust and financial political support granted to him by the EU, the Nobel Peace Prize 2019 has sparked two civil wars and is promoting ethnic cleansing and genocide against the Tigray minority in Tigray and the country in general. …

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Fulvio Beltrami Freelance Journaliste Africa

The duty of a journalist is to write down the truths which the powerful keep secret. Everything else is propaganda. Italian Jounalist Economic Migrate in Africa