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    Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza Dies Of Heart Attack….

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    Burundi government statement on Twitter says outgoing President, Pierre Nkurunziza (55) has died at Karusi hospital after suffering heart attack.

    In a statement posted on Twitter on Tuesday, the government announced “with great sorrow to Burundians and the international community” the passing of Nkurunziza, 55.

    The outgoing president died at Karusi hospital after suffering a heart attack on June 8, the statement added.

    In power since 2005, Nkurunziza was due to be replaced in August by political ally Evariste Ndayishimiye, who was declared earlier this month the winner of a May 20 presidential election.

    WHO IS NKURUNZIZA:

    • Nkurunziza was born in 1963 in Burundi’s capital city of Bujumbura.
    • He was raised in the province of Ngozi in northern Burundi.
    • His father, Eustache Ngabisha, was a Catholic Hutu connected with the royal family. His mother was a Protestant Tutsi assistant nurse.
    • Ngabisha was enlisted to the ranks of the pro-independence UPRONA party and elected to the Parliament of Burundi in 1965, later becoming governor of two provinces before being killed in 1972 during the Burundian Genocide of 1972 when ethnic violence claimed the lives of between 80,000 and 210,000 Burundians.
    • Nkurunziza attended primary school in Ngozi and pursued secondary education at Athénée in Gitega.
    • He later attended the Institut d’Education Physique et des Sports (IEPS) at the University of Burundi in the late 1980s and graduated in 1990 after obtaining his degree in sports education.
    • Before the civil war broke out, he became a sports professor at Lycée de Muramvya in 1991 while still studying psychology and pedagogy. Nkurunziza became a teacher and assistant lecturer at the University of Burundi in 1992.
    • In 1995, he was threatened and joined the CNDD-FDD when hundreds of Hutu students were killed or forced to flee. After rising through the ranks, Nkurunziza was appointed deputy secretary-general of the CNDD-FDD in 1998.
    • In the late 1990s, he was condemned to death by court and trial in absentia. In 2001, he was elected chairman.
    • There was a split in the group in late 2001. He was reelected chairman in August 2004.
    • During the Burundian Civil War, Nkurunziza is said to have survived a near death experience.
    • He was wounded several times in the war and was given the nickname “Pita”.
    • Beginning in late 2003 and after the ceasefire agreement, he was appointed Minister for Good Governance in the transitional government of President Domitien Ndayizeye.
    • Following a series of CNDD-FDD victories in elections held during June and July 2005, Nkurunziza was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate.
    • He was elected president by members of parliament (acting as an electoral college) with a vote of 151 to 162 on 19 August 2005 and took office on 26 August 2005.
    • He was reelected in 2010 with more than 91% of the vote amidst an opposition boycott and sworn in for his second term on August 26, 2010.
    • In March 2014, Nkurunziza banned jogging, due to “fears it was being used as a cover for subversion.”
    • In April 2015 Nkurunziza announced that he would seek a third term in office. The opposition said that Nkurunziza’s bid to extend his term was in defiance of the constitution, as it bars the president from running for a third term.
    • On May 13, 2015, Burundi Army General Godefroid Niyombareh declared a coup via radio while Nkurunziza was abroad attending a summit in Tanzania with other African leaders. Niyombareh had been dismissed from his post as head of intelligence in February 2015.
    • However, the controversial presidential elections were held on 21 July 2015. The electoral commission under pressure announced on 24 July 2015 that Nkurunziza had won the election with 69.41% of the vote with low voter turnout, the participation rate under 30%.
    • In March 2018, Nkurunziza was named “eternal supreme guide” by the ruling party, CNDD-FDD, in the run-up to a constitutional referendum on 17 May that year. The referendum’s proposed constitutional changes would allow Nkurunziza to stay in office until 2034.
    • On 21 May the new constitution was approved, allowing Nkurunziza to extend his term limits starting in 2020.
    • On 7 June 2018, Nkurunziza announced that he will step down after the 2020 elections.
    • Nkurunziza was one of seven siblings. Two of his siblings were killed after civil war erupted in 1993, and three others died while fighting in the CNDD-FDD. Only one of his siblings, a sister, is alive today.
    • He married his wife in 1994 and is the father of two sons.
    • Nkurunziza described himself as a born again Christian, though his rule has involved severely restricting religious freedoms for evangelical Christians and other groups.
    • Nkurunziza enjoyed playing football and cycling. He began playing football at the age of five, and played in a team at secondary school and his university.
    • In September 2019, a UN committee concluded that President Pierre Nkurunziza was personally accountable for serious violations.

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    AFRICA FOCUS

    We Don’t Believe In Being Enemies Of Somebody’s Enemy – Museveni Tells Putin’s Minister Lavrov Who Promises, “We Will Sell You Our Oil”…

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    President Museveni (R) with Russia's Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) at State House in Entebbe today

    President Kaguta Museveni has vowed to continue cooperating with Russia insisting that it’s not Kampala’s doctrine to be an enemy of other people’s enemies.

    Museveni made these remarks while at State House in Entebbe in a meeting with Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, today, who arrived in the country on Monday, for talks aimed at improving relations with Uganda.

    Museveni noted that they want to trade with Russia and all other countries in the world.

    “We don’t believe in being enemies of somebody’s enemy, no. We want to make our own enemies not to fight other people’s enemies, this is our doctrine,” he said.

    He further noted that he is pro-himself and he deals with all other people according to how they relate with his own interests.

    “It is not my job to be pro-east or pro-west, I am pro myself and I deal with people according to the way they deal with me,” he added.

    Speaking on behalf of the Russian government, Lavrov started by appreciating Uganda for refusing to take sides in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

    He acknowledged the fact that Uganda was among the 20 African countries which in March did not vote to condemn Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine.

    He added that discussions over resolving the energy and food crises will not depend on the mood of their western counterparts.

    “Our African colleagues understand it has nothing to do with the special military operation in Ukraine.

    RUSSIA TO SELL FUEL TO UGANDA.

    Lavrov also said that Russia is open to discussion with Uganda on purchases of fuel to curb the high fuel prices despite the western sanctions.

    He revealed that they (Russia) sell oil to all the interested countries and if there is a state interested and willing to buy, there are no obstacles to it.

    “We sell oil to all the interested countries, and if there is a State which is interested, which is willing to buy our oil whether India or an African State, there are no obstacles for this,” he revealed.

    Lavrov divulged that not only do they sell oil but also provide assistance in development and infrastructure in terms of refineries and oil products.

    It should be noted that Russia is a major trade and investment partner with Uganda and Africa generally unlike Ukraine which ceases to be among the main trade partners with Uganda.

     

     By Kalamira Hope

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    M7 Explains Origin Of Rwanda And DRC Conflict, Reveals Why African Countries Should Have Confronted NATO And Stopped Them From Attacking Gaddafi’s Libya…

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    President Museveni (L), DRC's Felix Tshisekedi (C) and Rwanda's Paul Kagame (R)

    President Yoweri Museveni has disclosed that African countries should have confronted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and stopped them from attacking Gaddafi’s Libya.

    In an interview with WION, an Indian Multinational English News Channel, on 16th July, Museveni said that even though the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are weak organisations, they can assist in the decolonisation of Africa.

    The president disclosed, “They are weak, but they can assist for instance in the decolonization of Africa.

    “(For instance) when we were chasing the Portuguese and whites, in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa, OAU (Organisation for African Union – OAU,  now African Union -AU), played a crucial role by supporting the liberation movements.

    “After we defeated the whites in Southern Africa, there was some relaxation, diversion and lack of concentration, and that’s how we allowed NATO to attack Libya, we should not have allowed it.”

    “We should not have allowed NATO to attack Gaddafi, we should have confronted it, but we didn’t, so the consequences are all this chaos you are seeing in Mali, Burkina Faso and so on, but these organisations can.”

    Museveni added that these organisations have the potential and capacity to save Africa from the whites who he called criminals, strangers and imperialists like when they united and defeated the Portuguese and whites in South Africa, Namibia, and Guinea Bissau.

    However, Museveni said that he never supported Gaddafi and Nkurumah’s way of uniting Africa.

    “They believed in an all African Union government, I never supported that. What I supported was what is really taking place and that is the continental free trade area. Which can become an African common market. We can do political integration for parts that are similar and compatible like for instance East and Central Africa which are very similar or compatible,” Museveni said.

    Museveni applauded associations like the Commonwealth adding that it is very useful because it is one of the few clubs where members communicate in one language without translations and the members have social links, historical links, links through religions which can benefit its members.

    “In my opinion I think we can use it more,” Museveni said.

    When he was asked about the hostility between Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its neighbours, President Museveni narrated the genesis of the conflicts,  “The problem of security in Congo started at independence when Mr. Lumumba was killed and then we got agents of foreign interests taking over power in the form of Mobutu.

    “Congo has never settled properly and the immediate problem, now is that after a long time, Congo has been either supporting or harbouring the enemies of other countries.”

    Museveni disclosed that there are many groups like the ADF, Intarahamwe and others that are using DRC as a base to attack its neighbours.

    When he was asked about Rwanda’s involvement in the DRC conflict, Museveni said, “There was an internal problem in Rwanda, which started in 1959, by the Belgians who massacred Tutsis and sided with some local traitors called the Hutu extremists.

    “Now that generated a Tutsi diaspora from 1959, which stayed out of Rwanda until 1990 when they made a comeback and, in the fight, the foreigners decided to back the Hutu extremists to kill one million people in the (Rwanda) genocide. But the Hutu regime was defeated and they fled with their supporters to Boma in eastern Congo with their arms.”

    The President added, “We begged Mobutu to disarm them but he refused. Until the Tutsis in Eastern Congo took up arms and attacked these Hutus, so that’s where the whole problem started.”

    Museveni said that if these external enemies were not hiding in Congo, Rwanda would attack DRC.

    Museveni divulged that the good thing is there is a regional forum, the East African Forum, chaired by H.E Kenyatta which is solving the problem.

    “We think now this problem can be solved because we talked frankly in Nairobi. Yes, external players may make their own mistakes but the original problem started with Congo,” he explained.

     

    By Hope Kalamira

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    Kagame And Tshisekedi To Meet In Angola’s Capital Over Conflict In Eastern DRC…

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    Rwandan President, Paul Kagame (R) with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi (L)

    Rwandan President, Paul Kagame and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Felix Tshisekedi are set to meet Angola’s President, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço in Luanda, the capital city of Angola this week over the conflict in eastern DRC.

    The call for the meeting comes after Rwanda’s accusation of DRC supporting Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), an armed rebel group active in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, a militia whose part of leadership and ideology are blamed for the 1944 genocide.

    DRC also accuses Rwanda of sending special forces in disguise into the country’s territory, marking the latest flashpoint in an escalating dispute between the two neighbours over resurgent violence in the east.

    DRC’s military alleged that 500 Rwandan soldiers had been deployed in the Tshanzu area in North Kivu province, which borders Rwanda.

    It added that M23 rebels, allegedly backed by Kigali, had attacked a group of United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Rutshuru area, also in North Kivu, injuring three Tanzanian peacekeepers.

    President, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, who was appointed by the African Union to resolve conflicts between Rwanda and DRC called for a meeting between the conflicting countries to resolve the matter.

     

    By Kalamira Hope

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