Burundian President Nkurunziza sworn in for third term, warns civil society and religious groups to quit politics

I WILL BE PRESIDENT FOR ALL: President Pierre Nkurunziza taking third oath of office

I WILL BE PRESIDENT FOR ALL: President Pierre Nkurunziza taking third oath of office

President Pierre Nkurunziza has been officially sworn-in for the third term Thursday in an impromptu ceremony at the National Assembly buildings in the capital Bujumbura.

In his speech President Nkurunziza promised to be the president for all Burundians; those who voted for him and those who did not.

Reminding the world that both the country’s constitutional court the East African Court of Justice have validated candidacy, President Nkurunziza cautioned those “enemies of democracy” who tried to depose him in the May 13 failed coup.

“To those who combatted elections through the coup attempt, aiming at obstructing democracy, we tell them to stop as soon as they can,” President Nkurunziza said, thanking the security forces and “many Burundians” who contributed in the fighting the coup plotters “It should serve as an example to all Burundians and to the international community,” he added.

Announcing a new era of peace and prosperity, President Nkurunziza warned Burundians and foreigners who would try to pose an obstacle.“We would like to announce to all Burundians and international community that after this electoral process, the country is going to enjoy a new era of durable peace, security and prosperity. We warn whoever will try to constitute an obstacle, be it a Burundian or a foreigner, we will combat them and they will be in trouble,” the president said.

Responding to circulating talk of an imminent rebel attack against Burundi, President Nkurunziza warned anyone thinking of waging war and pledged to address the issue in a two-month period.

As if to heed recent appeals from the international community to desist from politically motivated violence, President Nkurunziza called upon Burundians especially the opposition to refrain from violence.

“You should avoid violence based on wrong ideologies, ethnicity, provinces of origin and others. You are required to put forward respect of human rights, refraining from anything that might cause insecurity. Know that human life is a sacred property,” he told a fully packed house.

President Pierre Nkurunziza announced the revision of the organic law for civil society organizations to avoid their involvement in politics.

“Civil society organization should refrain from anything that might steer violence, instigate hatred as it was demonstrated during the recent crisis,” he warned.

He also appealed the religious leaders to just carry on with the main role that is of preaching the word of God. “You should refrain from involving yourselves into politics which derails you from your major role,” the president said.

Suffice to note, the Roman Catholic Church has strongly opposed the president’s controversial third term.

President Nkurunziza won the contentious presidential poll of July 21 amid bloody protests that broke out on April 26 after he was nominated by the ruling party CNDD-FDD.

Security was tight all day today in the capital Bujumbura as police and the military were deployed across the city.

Later in the afternoon Gaston Sindimwo from UPRONA opposition party and Dr. Joseph Butore from the governing CNDD-FDD were also sworn-in as 1st and 2nd Vice-President respectively.

As sign of disapproval from most of the region and the international community, no foreign leaders graced the occasion. A few diplomats accredited to Bujumbura were present and representatives of Egypt, China, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Russia and Vatican attended the ceremony.