Burundi: When and how would Burundi be equipped with a truly national army and police?

Burundi: When and how would Burundi be equipped with a truly national army and police?
The constitution of the Republic of Burundi of 2018 brings together the army and the police in what it calls « The Defence and Security Corps »; CDS in acronym. The 2005 constitution also added the National Intelligence Service, commonly known as « National Documentation ». Why did the cnddfdd power prefer to set aside the national intelligence service? This is another topic to be covered. We will come back to that.
We are addressing this very interesting and very broad subject because, if Burundi today experiences repetitive cycles of violence, the powers that have succeeded one another have always used these defence and security bodies, and primarily the army to stay power, defending the interests of a president, of a political party in power. However, the army should be the last bulwark, which should stop when the general interest of the people, their sovereignty, is seriously threatened by a president or a ruling party. Some Hutu extremists say that Ndadaye Melchior would not be killed if he had an army (as if a president must have an army of his own); and members of the cnddfdd were telling whoever wanted to hear them that no one can lead Burundi if it does not have an army. This is perhaps what justifies the excessive politicization of the defence and security corps by the cnddfdd power, the establishment, training and arming of the imbonerakure militia as well as the enlistment within these CDS FDRL-Interahamwe members.
Unfortunately, all of the above is contrary to the constitution of 2018 that the cnddfdd forged itself, replacing that of 2005. From article 246 to article 266 which speak of CDS, everything has been literally violated.
Without going through all of these articles, however, Article 246 (which is the first article in the constitution that talks about CDS), in paragraph1 says: ‘’ CDS are established according to law. Apart from these, no other armed organization can be created or raised’’. Which Burundian, the president, if he tries to be honest (even if it is not of his nature), would say that this article has not been totally violated in its entirety? Here, the question that a lot of upright Burundians and foreigners are asking themselves is how a power which has an army, a police force and an intelligence service totally politicized, which obey the orders of the State party, the party in power , can still think of organizing and arming a militia? How does a President of the Republic who has all these institutions for his protection dream of surrounding himself with members of the FDRL-Interahamwe who are known to the whole world to have committed genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994?
Since the notion of politicizing CDS has already been sketched out, let’s take a look at article 266 of the constitution. He says: « CDS are organized in such a way as to guarantee unity within them, political neutrality of members as well as impartiality in the accomplishment of their missions ». It would be difficult for the Chief of the General Staff himself, let alone the army spokesman, to explain that this article is respected. Behind the scenes, they’ll tell you that the cnddfdd power has no interest in the article being honoured; otherwise it wouldn’t be where it is today.
Political neutrality, impartiality in the performance of missions: these are two qualities that CDS do not have. Not only that they cannot be neutral because they are at the service of the ruling state party, the CDS arrive at the stage of feeling ridiculed by finding themselves in a situation where the imbonerakure are doing their job, or giving them orders to be executed if they want to keep their posts or just their lives. All this because the orders do not come from a known hierarchical chain of command, but from the permanence of the cnddfdd party.
That the Head of State is the supreme commander of the CDS, (even if he is from a ruling party), does not necessarily mean that the CDS must obey the orders of influential members of the ruling party. They have a well-known, hierarchical command to respect. The army chief should be someone educated, patriotic, professional and not a supporter of a political party (stronger than a supporter because he is among the major decision-makers within the party). He is a cnddfdd member in military uniform. He is not the only one. All those who fought within this rebel party / movement, kept this connotation, until setting up an organization which unites them, NONOKA.
CDS are made up of members from several movements, from all political stripes or even members who have never belonged to any political party. Grouping some under other organizations is another way to divide them. They are also divided not only in this sense, but also in the missions to be carried out. Some are given special assignments (shady and criminal) because they enjoy more trust from the bosses compared to others. It happens that some are even killed simply on suspicion of fighting power, only because they are not either of the Hutu ethnicity of the majority of people in power, or that they come from any other political tendency than the cnddfdd.
Normally, once dressed in the CDS uniform, the original parties and movements should be completely put aside; otherwise the tendency is to favour the members of his party in the exercise of their missions.
How then to manage to set up professional CDS, which ensure the defence of the territory and the security of all the people and their goods without any distinction? How can CDS be put in place that respect and protect institutions without however being the tools of those in power to seek to maintain them there by violating the laws in force and the basic rights of citizens?
URNHITAMWONEZA finds that the solution to this problem is the only way to achieve stability in our country and true democracy. All successive powers have always used CDS to come to power and stay there; at no time have we seen these CDS stand up and say no to the power that went beyond the laws and put the country in order for the sake of the average citizen. We are then waiting for everyone’s contribution to show the power of today and those who will come the most effective way to achieve truly national CDS.
We will approach this subject from its roots by starting with an analysis of the organization of the military during the colonial period and how it evolved after independence, during the so-called democratic powers until today. Your contributions to enrich this subject are welcome.

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