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Travel Diary in the land of my ancestors
” walking difficult but irreversible of a people towards the revolution.”
After several years of residence in Belgium where I live with my family, I’m back at the barn at the end of the month of June. Arrival at the international airport of bujumbura, I was greeted by friends who was a combination of faces dull and dull that indicate a malaise, doubts not to say a deep despair. Yet they are influential members of the party in power, who in these moments, are among those who make the rain and the beautiful weather. For having lived with them during childhood for some and in Europe for the others, I know, through their faces, their moment of joy and sorrow. I was more surprised that they did not cease to invite me with insistence that I come to share with them, the delights of a victory, real or imagined, they claim to have had on those they call to right or wrong as “coup”.
A friend of burundi of Brussels, had suggested that the coup is well and truly nkurunziza, who by terrorism to the judges, bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrations and the electoral weigh has trampled on the fundamental laws of the Republic. He argued so eloquently that he ended up sow doubt in me. According to him away from the qualifier of devotion, he called them “worthy son of burundi who have tried to complete a revolution”.
That day I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in this war of words and qualifier but I have concluded that this is not easy to decide. Naturally as a supporter of the party in power I was leaning towards the first version that I am often told by my friends even if I’m starting to be very sceptical about the viability of the system in place or this so-called victory that we’re singing to the head and Throated deployed by social media actors.
During the day, life in the city of bujumbura seems normal. However when arrive in the evening, this same city is unrecognizable. The appearance of serenity is broken by a fear that grips of city dwellers of bujumbura. While we were sitting in a bar with a drink, in turn friends tell me that they are keen to get home before 21 pm. Have to go back to not be alone, I’m going back to my house rented for a few days. Arrival at the house, I watch National Television that has become purely and simply a television of the party in power in general and the president of the republic in particular. Watching the president sometimes in the community work, sometimes giving advice to the population ambiguous or playing football, my memories have shown me directly in the 1990 s when the zairean National Television at the time showed mobutu at any time. At the beginning of the journal we showed almost flying in the clouds as if he came from the sky. Tired, at the time of sleep, this comparison kept biting my mind so the cult of personality seems to have taken a good place in the political and social life of Burundi.
The next day, I have to meet with an old friend currently influential in Burundi, to give him my contribution in terms of the council in order to argue in favour of respect for the rights of man and the ultimate need to prevent another tragedy in our country. After several appointments constantly reported allegedly due to the preparation of the celebration of independence first, then negotiations announced at the beginning of the month of July then i concluded that person among the faithful of nkurunziza was ready to meet me . Would it be because of my Belgian Nationality? Questions did not cease to crossed my mind without that I can have some answers.
Only one of his followers that i wont name invites me by surprise at his home in carama – gatunguru. He seemed to want to put too much prudence in our meeting that I almost didn’t respond to his invitation. He wanted our meeting remains secret. I didn’t know the very existence of this neighborhood who is located in the old rice plantations. The day indicated, I’m going through kamenge in cutting me hardly the passage. The impoverishment is clear. Poor conditions of lives of the people are all the way. The streets are full of people standing, who don’t work but who seem to attend a football game. He promised me to come pick me up near the bar at muphizi ready of the place we once called “Terminus”.
Arrival at this place, I can hardly to park my car. He asked me to leave my car in front of this bistro to ride in his jeep v8 black smoke. Three police officers were heavily armed security. One was sitting in front of and the other two back. One of the two I opened the door, and the vehicles took over the leadership of kinama. After crossing the neighborhood muramvya the kinama, I discovered a new city composed of castles brand new and my friend seemed to be very pensive and almost nervous turned to me and said, “welcome to carama, our neighborhood”. arrival In The Neighborhood Carama III, he never ceased to show me some houses in floors which belong to the members of the party in power.
Finally, I finish by asking him if the state of burundi has become such a big payer in terms of salary to the point that all these frames of the public service may be able to build such luxurious villas. Almost surprised by my question he burst out laughing, on a quasi-mocking and tells me “here it is Africa and we enjoy the dividends of victory”
I felt a sort of gene he experienced when he was speaking. An idea crossed my mind: “maybe he’s afraid of expressing themselves being in the company of his bodyguards”
Arrival at home, there was an armada of police officers, some armed with RPG other armed with machine gun with several chargers. In the distance you can see people in civilian who rodent around his plot. I was upset indeed to see that there is a marked difference between political discourse which proclaims that peace reign and the climate of fear and panic; a worrying situation of neither war nor peace.
Arrived in his house, it was a real castle. He made me visit this marvel with a lot of pride, but as the time, I felt in him a certain melancholy.
Sitting on the veranda, at a time when we shared a drink, I wanted to know his way to analyse the situation politico social of burundi and the exit lane that advocates nkurunziza, his mentor. I was surprised by his revelations.
A Serene way serious but he said to me: ” I wanted to meet you in private to tell you the whole truth. We have nothing to hide from his brother. Indeed, ” the party cndd fdd missed her golden opportunity of in the history of burundi as a party that has brought peace. And all this because of the frenzy of a man, hypocrite, surrounded by a team ill-intentioned and animated alas of hatred and vengeance which leads us right into the story. Since 2015 the country continues to go down to the underworld. Everyone is aware of it, but this sad descent continues. By his will to prevail in master and forever, he has undermined the foundations of democracy and annihilate the chances of a national reconciliation which was on a good path. He destroys all of a sudden the hope of an entire people in search of a social and political revolution ”
Claiming to want to protect themselves against enemies and hypothetical historical, he destroyed the pillars of the country, in this case the army and the police for the benefit of a militia who becomes more and more strong. I went into this party by conviction but those who are eyeballs of his leadership are severely affected by a severe delusions of persecution and a political blindness undeniable. While I was going to serve my fatherland, I became alas a prisoner appearances free of a political party without vision who built the state terrorism in a mode of government ”
Surprised to hear these words, I wanted to learn more. At the time where I was going to ask him the question he continued on a your studious and pensive. We felt in his words a sincerity out of the ordinary. Have you seen this young man who walked in front of my house at the time where I was expecting that we open the portal? Asked me t it. I replied by the affirmative.
” in spite of my rank, I’m being watched. This young imbonerakure communicates directly with the documentation and the presidency. If by chance someone found out that I have received a visitor from Belgium, my fate would complicate themselves. Those people who ran the rebellion, and whose don’t have to tell you the limits have never left really the maquis. They want to manage the country as they ran in the time the men under their command. Unfortunately even the rare technocrats who had agreed to put their competence to contribution were forced into exile. I can say without risk of cheating on me that the party in power is in lambeau but that the appearance of force conveyed by a violent communication is only the fruit of the widespread terror.
The people made a hard but irreversible walking towards a social and economic revolution. One day, with this poverty which is constantly harden, I’m afraid to see the people rise up and we drive out of power “. the imbonerakure were up against democracy and tolerance. They were treated like the true forces of order and they ends up in convince. One thing led to another and they are starting to get the jump on the defence forces and security and I wouldn’t want to be among the grateful of these burrs that will surely be condemned by history. Whatever it is he’s useless into a tunnel whose end is clogged. The people never ceases to make us signs of reformscaused, but we do not take the message. Hold dated 13/5/2015 the whole country was in celebration. It was the party. Has kamenge the population felt free from the yoke of dictatorship. Frankly, I can’t hide from you that I myself opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate the event. I was hoping the burundians was slipping on new heights of development, but the joy will only be a slight cloud.
Two days after I was forced to put even the holding of the party of terror to protect my skin. It will take note also that during the election charade last year had been the change of the minutes, the population had voted against the one who has imposed by force. If you approached of people who have worked on the ceni, he will tell you about this sad reality. So the refusal of the population to follow the teachings divisionists propagated by the party cndd, the doodles on the photos of the de facto president by young students sufficient proof of this, that far from the speech, our party has no more solid foundations with the masses . ”
I’m in a dilemma my brother t he continued, ” if i quit it kills me, if i tried to escape, I’m afraid I don’t achieve it especially that the militia has erected here and there of barricades. Whatever it is, I wouldn’t want my name remains forever associated with these executioners of the people of bruised! ” this power has failed in its methods to divide the people and I believe that its cartridges depleted inexorably. Now He’s desperate! Independent Media although destroyed have left indelible traces. The Communications of civil society who supported the general interest have welded the bases or the foundations of the state. The speech of the hatred of the leaders of our political party have no effects. The people has become mature but we have not known at the time. The divisionism as a method of mass mobilisation is a bygone method that the people have rejected. Did you know that until now despite the efforts to divide the population whose cndd has shown in recent times, the neighbourhoods of bujumbura are still inhabited by all the components of the people of Burundi. That repression due to majority neighbourhoods tutsi has not brought these latest to attack their neighbour hutu. Did you know that the people of buterere mostly hutu tutsi hide always wanted in order to protect them? This is my brother the foundations on which we need to build the country, let’s get out of this party that is only the shadow of himself!
At the time where I was going to take the floor, very inspired, my friend continued: ” to an analyst notified, the cndd fdd ruined all the hopes of the people silent but lucid. The Revolution is brewing, the discontent is palpable. The people is not prepared to follow the approach of the suicidal minority clique cndd fdd who prefers the oppression in dialogue. ”
Rather than giving me the floor, he rose abruptly, walked about from left to right before his seat and ask me. Are you in contact with the slingers or political opposition in general? I replied in the negative. I’d like to know their plan to be able to operate a choice. I’m tired of being associated with speeches of hatred which does not cease to be made public in our name so that it is not that a small group blinded by revenge and decided to lead us towards the drift. ”
Tired by this monologue I finish by him asked another question in these terms: ” what is it you want of this dialogue which begins after tomorrow in arusha. ”
He spoke to me of the lack of will power to negotiate and delaying tactics planned to deceive the public and thus arrive to unblock the aid, the support in disguise of France in power but that fades with the burrs of power, of the Geopolitics makes Russia and China their unconditional allies and concludes on doubts about the outcome of this dialogue because the power thinks he’s very hard to negotiate with its opponents. He spoke to me of the militarization of youth imbonerakure who are likely to commit the irreparable if the international community do not fully assume its mission to protect the population. He showed me that the only country that scared nkurunziza’s Tanzania due to the fact that this country can declare an embargo fatal for power.
Around 22 pm, he brought me back to the place where I had left my vehicle. Suddenly, I realize that it is surrounded by young in civilian clothes who ask the questions related to the owner. Seeing me get off the vehicle of my friend, some have obeyed and welcomed in these terms: ” komera mutama ” and the other to respond ” ramba ramba ” astonished! I ask him the question about whether he knows these young people and he tells me that it’s a code to apply to the imbonerakure. One of these young people in black coat, on a your almost threatening approaches us and tells us “batama erega turanyotewe ntimubona ko turi kukazi”
He touched in his pocket and gave him a ticket of 10.000 francs, and the young who had just received the currency of thanking him with enthusiasm in these terms ” irambire irambire mutama. ”
After we have said goodbye, I took the road back to my neighborhood where I had rented a house of passage. I kept meditating on the revelations of my friend with whom we have helped to finance the party in power since the early years of its creation. For more information, on the existence of this militarization of youth, I made the decision to go visit my parents in the interior of the country even if it is them who were supposed to come.
The next day, I had rented another car more solid to ride to ngozi my home province, common busiga, rukeco area. When I called a nephew who studied at the university of burundi so we ride together, he grew discouraged me and advised me to didnt go, alleging a risk on my safety. He showed me that he has a nightly rounds and the imbonerakure plunder of the people. They are making inquiries on every person who rises to the inside. If once the imbonerakure learn that you come from Belgium, you can have serious trouble unless you don’t has an influential member of the party in power who can confirm that your presence in burundi is positively known. He said me insistently. He added that since the previous Congress of the party in power in Burundi, there is a climate of distrust and division within the party and that I could be victims of this situation, especially that the imbonerakure fear of people of the party that could go up to do The propaganda against this third mandate of discord. So I decided not to go up and ask my parents to come down here to greet me.
After I picked up the phone I felt a deep regret to have to contribute in the establishment of such a system which bloaty the people. I was naive in confining me texts of the party without knowing the practices on ground are very different ideals of the party who has been diverted from its objectives of yesteryear. I felt up in me a certain revolt against this dictatorship that doesn’t deserve the people of Burundi.
As I had already paid the vehicle for the next day, I took the decision to go up to bugarama to contemplate this beautiful part of burundi and enjoy don’t had that for a day of the freshness of this place. Around 10 pm, I was arriving at the level of the snack bar iwabo w ‘ abantu. A few metres away a cop stops us. Curiously, it is surrounded by people in civilian clothes. When they asked me the identity card, I haven’t found. I had forgotten in the other car. I was obliged to show them my Belgian Passport. At the moment when the police officer read what is written, another young man was improvised. He took my travel document and asked me: ” is what you are belgians? ” I replied that I’m burundian birth and Belgian by naturalization but that my old passport was expired and he’s in the pafe for renewal. ”
With a wry smile, he asked me my destination, the goal of my trip and the time that I intend to do in burundi. Finally, after some minutes of expectations, I tiptoed down from the car to go ask that I get back my passport. I told her that I’m on vacation and I makes me to bugarama for the half day. After long confabulation they ended by give me my passport. The scared I was wondering why I was held up for so long. I was wondering if they have not decided to eliminate me along the way. Arrival at muswahili, I find the network of the new house of communication lumitel. Suddenly, by reading on what’s up I’m getting in message informing me that the member of the East African Legislative Assembly Hafsa Mossi has just been murdered in the middle of the street and in broad daylight.
Linking this dastardly crime with which kept crossed my mind, I’ve ordered the driver to turn around immediately. The driver surprised looked of share and other of the road and found nothing unusual. Arrival at bujumbura the images of the deceased were already circulating on social networks. It was horrible to see these images. At some friends moderates cndd fdd, it was the widespread outcry. En route I received the call from my friend that I had visited the day before. He told me in terms florid: ” have you seen the illustration of my revelations of yesterday? ” if it is possible to leave the country ASAP! Without even go back to the house and I rushed in a travel agency to change my plane ticket. The night I was at the airport to take my flight not without regret.
Departing from impromptu road trip, I was sorry to see the state in which the country is located, a country that never ceases to be ruined by his sons bereft of vision and humanity. Has the idea that I’m going back in Europe without even greet my parents the anguish and grief me dictating the heart. I took the phone to call my mom in order to talk to him about the urgency of return in Europe without the salute and I could hear it from the other end of the son in the process of sobbing. I myself cannot resist pour two hot tears. One for my country led by terror and another of nostalgia for my parents who missed myself a lot but that I’m going back in Europe without saluting in spite of me. After takeoff the plane, I prayed the good Lord for that I will not return without delay in my country after a change so much desired by this people worthy but martyred.