Burundi: Tanzania is apparently pushing the cnddfdd to exercise an undivided power for its own interests
Tanzania has had special relations with the cnddfdd since the time of the rebellion. This is not surprising because this country has always supported the liberation’s wars that have taken place in the region. Many CNDD, FDD and later CNDDFDD leaders used this territory to take refuge, train there, find war equipment; and this under the complicity of the local authorities. Tanzania has always denied it, but it has been noticed on the ground that each time the rebels are cornered by the regular army on the eastern side of Burundi, the rebels fall back on Tanzania.
During all the cyclical crises that plunged Burundi into mourning, Tanzania has always been a haven for Burundian refugees. Quite a few of them (those who want it) have received Tanzanian nationality.
What causes the Burundian refugees in the Tanzanian camps today to be ill-treated by the Tanzanian government? The answer lies in improving relations between the cnddfdd and the Tanzanian government and especially the ruling party in Tanzania, the CCM. We will have noticed regular meetings held by Evariste Ndayishimiye, the current president, when he was secretary general of the cnddfdd, even when he was still working in the office of the president of the Republic. The youth of the cnddfdd, the imbonerakure, even established relationships with the CCM’s youth. This proves that it was these imbonerakure militias who regularly went to Tanzania to disrupt, with the help of the Tanzanian security services, the Burundian refugees who fled the crisis of Pierre Nkurunziza’s third illegal mandate. They were selectively killed, others imprisoned, others ill-treated, deprived of their basic refugee rights. The Tanzanian authorities kept telling them to return to the country, that peace is total. It is this same scene that has just happened with the recent visits of the Tanzanian authorities in charge of refugees in the Nyarugusu and Mutenderi camps to tell them that the elections are over, that there is total peace in their country of origin, so that they must all return to Burundi. The song has always been the same for the Tanzanian authorities, but the various humanitarian organizations have always shouted, and only the volunteers have returned, the others are still there despite the Tanzanians’ desire to force them back. In fact, Tanzania does so knowing that international refugee law does signal that a refugee must return when he feels that his security conditions are met; that what he fled is no longer there.
However, with the installation of a government led by the ruling military clique in Burundi, the refugees are not yet ready to return; they are always afraid for their safety. Furthermore, they had fled the imbonerakure who were trying to kill them, and these criminals are still there, they have not changed their behaviour, probably killing strategies could change.
Why is Tanzania putting pressure on these refugees when it knows it is a violation of the law? Why does this country have a lot of esteem and attachment to the government of the cnddfdd? From the outset, it is not for the good of Burundi and the Burundians; it is for its own interests.
Indeed, the Tanzanian leaders are trying all possible means to get very close to Burundi because they have invested there, especially in fuel and textiles. They also seek to strengthen their influence within SADEC by relying on Burundi. It is for this reason that the Tanzanian authorities are ready to sponsor Burundi to join this regional organization (despite the fact that Burundi has already received two rejections of their integration request). Tanzania also needs easy access to DR Congo; and it is only possible by having a facility on Burundian territory and its airport in Bujumbura. The Burundian subsoil, and especially the Nichel, in abundance in the eastern regions of Burundi are also of interest to Tanzanians. Probably the cnddfdd would have accepted its exploitation by Tanzania in exchange for the war material which it would have supplied to the cnddfdd during the war period. Also, as written in our Edition number 41, the ports of Dar es Salaam and Kigoma, ceded during the colonial period in Burundi in exchange for the current district of Ngara, are also of concern to the Tanzanian authorities. They would also approach the current leaders of Burundi to make them forget this dossier. Nothing excludes the possibility of an agreement with the authorities of the two countries to share the dividends which would come from these ports. This is why many observers believe that the Tanzanian authorities want to exert a lot of influence over Burundi. Some even believe that they are the ones who are advising or forcing the ruling military clique in Gitega to exercise power without sharing with other political actors. Here, when Evariste Ndayishimiye keeps pointing the finger at the settlers accusing them of being at the root of the Burundian problems, the European settlers left 60 years ago and the settlers today are him and his military clique at which is added to the Tanzanian authorities.
URN HITAMWONEZA draws the attention of Burundians that the Tanzanian authorities are in the logic of Hutu power and that its privileged relations with the cnddfdd do not bode well. Not only do these authorities seek their interests in Burundi, they advise the military clique on power to exercise undivided power in order to exclude all those who are not from the cnddfdd. It’s a strategy to isolate and exterminate them. Tanzania will be held accountable for breaking the law by forcibly expelling Burundian refugees. It will also share with the military clique in Burundi the responsibility for the genocide which could follow the current power’s calamitous management.