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US News a leader of the opposition of Burundi castigates the lifting of American sanctions

16:45  23 november  2021
16:45  23 november  2021 Source:   femina.fr

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Alexis Sinduhije lors d'un meeting politique à Bujumbura le 11 avril 2010 © Esdras Ndikumana Alexis Sindihije at a political meeting in Bujumbura on April 11, 2010

One of the fiercet opponents of the Government of Burundi, Alexis Sinduhije, castigator Monday in an interview at AFP The lifting of American sanctions against this small country in East Africa, where, according to him, nothing has changed to justify this decision.

The United States announced last week the lifting of the sanctions imposed in 2015 in Burundi, then shaken by a violent political crisis, greeting an embellished since the election to the presidency of Evariste Ndayishimiye in May 2020.

"C ' It is amazing that such a powerful country can look at Burundi's question with very reducing eyes, "says Alexis Sinduhije, President of the Opposition Party Movement for Solidarity and Development (MSD).

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"Citizens die every day, human rights reports speak, the observers who are on the spot (...) know it," adds this former 54-year-old journalist who lives in exile in Brussels where he is Become one of the most fierce opponents of the Burundian regime.

"I do not see what changed in Burundi except the Americans themselves".

Mr SINDIHIJE figured on the list of the 100 most influential personalities of the Magazine Time in 2008 and received in 2004 a committee prize for the protection of journalists to have mounted African public radio, which aimed to promote peace between Tutsi and Hutu. at the end of the Long Burundian Civil War.

Alexis Sinduhije à Bujumbura le 11 avril 2010 © Esdras Ndikumana Alexis Sindihije in Bujumbura on April 11, 2010

But the one who was once candidate for the presidential election was also targeted by the American sanctions, accused of having been an active support of the armed rebellion in this small country by majority Hutu.

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For Mr. Sinduhije, appear on this American blacklist was "unfair" and, according to him, his Tutsi ethnicity was able to play a role in bringing "balance" with the Hutu who were there.

The US decision comes two months after the publication of a report by the United Nations Inquiry on Burundi that the situation of human rights remains "disastrous" and "has been deteriorated in some respects" since the power of Mr. Ndayishimiye.

"The members of the opposition parties (...) are still regularly the target of abusive restrictions and are subject to serious violations of human rights such as disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detentions and the acts of torture ", emphasized this text in September.

The same month, Burundi launched an arrest warrant against Mr. Sindihije, accusing him to lead a responsible group "terrorist acts" in recent years in the country.

The opponent affirms that it is the sixth time that a Burundian government issues a mandate to arise against him, and declares, "It is a political mandate, it is not a judicial mandate".

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Alexis Sindihije is suspected of a long time by the power to be at the head of the Red-Tabara, today considered the most active of Burundian rebel groups and accused of a series of attacks since 2015.

Mr SINDIHIJE has always rejected these accusations. But he says to AFP to be in contact with the Red-Tabara, as with "all those who fight against power".

"The line is simple: our party requires the negotiation of an inclusive electoral process that is not + rigable +," he says.

"Associate me with Red Tabara, I think it's a way to exclude me politically," he adds, saying, "I always want to chat politically, I want a debate" .

"These people are heroes for me, it is not terrorists, they are heroes, they fight for the future of our country, for freedom, for a people who has a choice".

According to him, the Red-Tabara, whose rear base is in DR Congo and which would be between 500 and 800 men, is strengthening and now has a presence in Burundi.

In September, the rebel group claimed an attack against Bujumbura International Airport, the economic capital of Burundi, where several attacks took place the same month.

In the long term, says Mr Sinduhije, the ruling party, from the old main Hutu rebellion, will have to speak to his opponents: "they want it or not, they will be forced to dialogue".

str-txw / md /

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