Burundian security organs in a plot to frustrate Agathon Rwasa ahead of 2020 electoral campaigns

Burundi’s security services are engaged in a plot to sabotage Agathon Rwasa the leader of CNL, Congres National pour la Liberation or national Congress for Liberation in order to frustrate his plans and ambitions to contest for 2020 presidential elections.

Agathon Rwasa is perceived as a real threat to power contenders within the CNDD –FDD, however, there are many theories and rumour mills that link Agathon Rwasa to be in a secret deal with Pierre Nkurunziza and that Nkurunziza is seeking to retain control of the presidency through Agathon Rwasa, as his chosen successor.  Whatever the case, Burundi’s security organs are engaged in dubious activities to frustrate Agathon Rwasa who is perceived as a real threat to CNDD-FDD in the up- coming 2020 elections.

According to many internet commentators, there is high evidence that thousands of supporters are flowing in in Rwasa Agathon party, CNL. Even some who are seen as members of the CNDD-FDD party are poised to join this new fledgling party probably to try new path.

This has lead Burundi’s security organs who are rubbed up the wrong way to try to neutralize Rwasa’s activities in order to prevent his party growth.

Agathon Rwasa’s actions are monitored closely by Burundi’s security organs which shows indication of mistrust they have in him.

On the other hand, there are increasing signs of a looming electoral crisis and the partisan use of state institutions, exactions committed by youth militia (the Imbonerakure), the lack of confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), are strategies used by Burundi’s inner – circle to reduce the inclusivity of the electoral process at the time when   President Pierre Nkurunziza’s will to run again is likely to exacerbate tensions.

Pierre Nkurunziza is risking it all by trying to trick or force his name on the ballot or appoint his preferred successor, and currently they growing signs of resistance and condemnation of CNDD-FDD activities against the citizens from the Catholic and Adventist churches, civil society, a fraction of his own party and most external partners.  Sources within CNDD-FDD have told the great lakes eye that the opposition’s survival is at stake and the security forces are unsure how to react in case of violent crisis.

Danger ahead

Many political analysts predict that Burundi is on a particularly perilous track as hardcore members of CNDD-FDD have failed to agree on a road map for the 2020 elections and agreeing on the list of power contenders.  The international actors are also concerned that the power sharing institutions are dead completely. But the parlous state of the economy is another concern and could lead to wholesale political collapse as more and more Burundians are left without vital services, potentially leading to inter-ethnic rivalry over the dwindling resources.

In this crucial period before the 2020 elections, the international community needs to strengthen its support for the long-term stability of Burundi by continuing to pressure the current government over its lack of dialogue with and continued repression of the political opposition. Otherwise, the power-sharing structures that have helped stabilise Burundi after decades of conflict will collapse and the violence that does occur will be worsened by the dire economic conditions and the failure of the international community to provide the needed humanitarian aid to help the most vulnerable.

After all, as the Burundian proverb goes: “A hungry person is an angry person.”

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