Amidst talk of possible rebel attack, Burundi President Nkurunziza rallies nation to unite, announces compulsory civic training

LET'S UNITE AND FORGE A NEW FUTURE: President Pierre Nkurunziza implored Burundians

LET’S UNITE AND FORGE A NEW FUTURE: President Pierre Nkurunziza implored Burundians

Two days after presiding over the swearing ceremony of his new cabinet, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza has called on Burundians to put recent anarchy behind them and forge a new future rooted in peace and unity.

“Now that the elections are all over, speculations about having voted for us or for someone else ended with July 21. Now it’s a new era to work together for our country, support the democratically elected institutions and implement the political program for which you have elected us,” President Nkurunziza appealed to the nation.

For the last few months Burundians have had to live under a constant cloud of a possible rebel attack but Nkurunziza urged the population to be calm and to trust the military and security forces to deal with any attack on the nation.

The president beseeched all Burundians to pitch in and contribute to the consolidation of peace, justice and security; strengthening of good governance based on democracy.

Despite recent high profile assassinations and shootings in his country, President Nkurunziza on Wednesday reiterated his determination to restore order in every corner of Burundi within the next two months.

“We have asked the joint security committees to work day and night so as to dismantle all those groups killing people and spreading panic among the public within just two months, especially in the capital of Bujumbura,” he said, appealing to all Burundians to work hand in hand with security agencies to achieve this goal.

President Nkurunziza, who was recently sworn in for his controversial third term today announced the introduction of a compulsory civic training aimed at instilling patriotism in the country’s youth.

“From now on, we will train the youth in a basic patriotism within the framework of compulsory civic service, especially to university students,” President Nkurunziza said adding “to continue the civic and patriotic training to sensitize the public to form a strong front in the preservation of peace and security in the neighborhoods.”

In light of recent targeted killings Nkurunziza further announced his government will tighten laws and penalties to help deal with the crimes.

The recent formation of a new opposition movement the National Council for the Restoration of the Rule of Law and Democracy (CNARED) has added credence to the possible rebel attack chatter.

CNARED is made up of former top government officials in Nkurunziza government including ex-2nd Vice-President Gervais Rufyikiri, and ex-Parliamentary speaker Pie Ntavyohanyuma among others. The duo fled to Belgium in the peak of the 4 month conflict weeks before the July 21 presidential poll.

The government has however reassures Burundians over CNARED’s threats saying security organs remain determined to protect the people.

“To whoever wants to use force; the government has its full strength to protect the country. We have already shown it because there were many groups that have tried to use force and who were proven that it doesn’t work. So the population shouldn’t worry,” Philippe Nzobonariba, the government spokesman told the National Radio Wednesday.