Nkurunziza must go, says ex-government official


Sylvère Nimpagaritse, Until a few days ago when he decided to flee to Rwanda, he was Burundi’s Constitutional Court Vice President.

The former Vice President of Burundi Constitutional Court, Sylvère Nimpagaritse, who recently fled to neighbouring Rwanda has finally broke his silence and spoke to the media about his ordeal and the political events in his country. The most high profile Burundian exile has vowed not to return to his country until incumbent president leaves office.

Nimpagaritse, held a press conference today and said that the current president should step down and facilitate peaceful transition of power.

“I had to escape the wrath of the current government. I was not safe, just like other government leaders, even when they chose to stay and remain silent about Nkurunziza’s bid for a forceful third term.” He told the press in Kigali, Rwanda.

The ex-Constitutional Court official also took the opportunity to narrate his dicey escape from Burundi. “You cannot imagine how they (Imbonerekure) followed me to the border as I tried to escape to Rwanda. The police were asking me for a bribe and in the meantime, the imbonerakure were closing in. I decided to force my way through roadblocks” he said

Nimpagaritse said that since he entered Rwanda, he feels much safer but he calls upon the president to peacefully relinquish power.

“If he (Nkurunziza), tries to force himself into power, Burundians will react with an equal measure. So he better makes a right choice now to bring peace back to his people” he stated.

Sylvère Nimpagaritse is the latest asylum seeker who arrived in Rwanda on May 4, 2015 through the Rusizi District broder, western Rwanda.

On May 1, 2015 two Burundian local government officials, Niyonsaba Gaudose of Gisagara commune and his counterpart Basile Ndereyimana of Cankuzo prefecture, abandoned their offices fleeing to Rwanda through the Bugesera district, eastern Rwanda as violence and threats to their lives seemed imminent.

Nimpagaritse said Nkurunziza should step down as soon as possible so that Burundians may regain their peace that has been in Burundi for the last several years.

Nkurunziza on the other hand, has officially announced he is running for president in next month’s general election.

The president’s rather gutsy move disregards protests that have paralyzed the nation for the last 10 days, and appeals by regional leaders and the international community that he respects the constitution and step aside.

The African Union (AU) has called on Burundi to postpone the elections until the ongoing crisis is resolved.