Monday July 2 2018

Burundi celebrates 56th independence anniversary

Full speech by Burundian envoy to Uganda during 56th independence anniversary

The Burundian community living in Uganda, led by the ambassador to Uganda H.E. Jean Bosco Barege celebrated the anniversary on Friday June 29, in a colourful ceremony that was held at Imperial Hotel. Courtesy photo 

The Burundi government celebrated their 56th independence anniversary on Sunday July 1, 2018.

However, the Burundian community living in Uganda, led by the ambassador to Uganda H.E. Jean Bosco Barege celebrated the anniversary on Friday June 29, in a colourful ceremony that was held at Imperial Hotel.

The ceremony was attended by among others, the minister of State for Regional Affairs, Mr Philemon Mateke, who represented the Uganda government, ambassadors from other countries, and some other ministers, Ugandan MPs, plus Burundians living in Uganda.

The anniversary, according to the ambassador was celebrated under the theme: Strengthen the acquired Independence by unity and hard work, source of development.

The independence anniversary aside, the Burundian government was also cerebrating the 11th anniversary since they joined EAC. Burundi joined EAC on July 1, 2009.

Burundi gained independence from Belgian colonial rule on July 1, 1962 by Prince Louis Rwagasore who fought for it tirelessly in unity and hard work of all Burundians.

He was however, killed shortly before Burundian independence on October 13, 1961 by yet unidentified assassins.

Full speech by the ambassador

SPEECH FOR THE OCCASION OF THE 56TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF BURUNDI ON JULY 1 2018 celebrated in advance on 29 June 2018.
First of all we thank the Almighty God who has made this very beautiful day, we are delighting in. Praise be to God.
- Hon. Minister Mr. Philemon Mateke representing the Government of the Republic of Uganda;
- Hon. Members of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda
- Hon. Ministers here present;
- Dear Colleagues of the entire Diplomatic Corps;
- Dear Compatriots, fellow Burundians here present;
- Ladies and Gentlemen, all protocol observed.

It gives me a great pleasure and honour to welcome all of you to the 56th anniversary of the Independence of Burundi whose theme is: “Strengthen the acquired Independence by Unity and Hardwork, source of Development”.
Honourable Minister Mr. Philemon Mateke allow me to first and foremost thank you personally for accepting to come and grace this very important occasion for Burundi and we Burundians.

I also thank your Government which has accepted to delegate you as our Guest of honour.
Allow me also, to thank all of you dear distinguished guests for honouring our invitation. Your presence here is a true and living testimony that the Embassy of Burundi has friends in this great land.

Allow me again, to thank all the member of the Burundi Embassy personnel for their efforts to make this occasion a reality on this very evening.
Last but not least, I profoundly thank Burundi drummers and sisters who are entertaining us. I think they deserve a big round of applause of this gathering. This team of the drummers who are entertaining us is here demonstrating the core of the Burundi drumming. Burundi Drums are now UNESCO certified Cultural Heritage.

Full speech by Burundian envoy to Uganda during 56th independence anniversary

The ceremony was attended by among others, the minister of State for Regional Affairs, Mr Philemon Mateke, who represented the Uganda government, ambassadors from other countries, some ministers, Ugandan MPs, and Burundians living in Uganda. Courtesy photo

Honourable Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

56 years in a life of an individual are not few numbers. It is more than a half of a century. But Burundi is still a young Republic.
As matter of fact, Burundi recovered its independence from Belgian colonial rule on 1st July 1962 by a gallant Son of Burundi the Prince Louis Rwagasore who fought for it tirelessly in Unity and hard work. Unfortunately, our Hero for Independence was killed in a mysterious way. Till to date, those who planned the assassination have not yet been identified.

The succession of the Hero of the Independence brought division in Burundi political class which even
Has negatively impacted our way of conducting politics.
Without coming back on all our way in politics, Hon. Minister, it is known by everyone that every time elections approach, politicians do not agree and it impacts negatively on the population. What is very bad here is foreign influence. There are individuals or even foreign countries that influence elections for sectarian interests, what really has to be banished.

In 2015, politicians did not agree on the way forward and it creates refugees who some are still in neighbour countries whereas others went back home.
Here my government has appealed to everyone who fled to go back home. Government of Burundi sent delegates from the Ministry in charge of patriotism to all camps in neighbour countries to assure all refugees to go back home to work together for the development of our country. Indeed many refugees are coming back home.

Honourable Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Without recalling all the process, Burundi politicians, embarked on dialogue internally and outside.
The one of outside is facilitated by former President of Tanzania H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa under the mediation of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and we are waiting for this one to come to an end and join the internal one which has produced a report of the way forward.

Following the report of the internal dialogue, Burundi Government organised a referendum on 17th May 2018 which was very successful. A turn up of 96% among which 73% voted yes for the proposed amendments. This voted amendment was assented into law on 7 June 2018 by H.E. the President of the Republic. During that historic day in the history of Burundi, H.E. the President of the Republic reiterated that his term will take end in 2020.

Honourable Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On bilateral cooperation, Uganda and Burundi enjoy very cordial relations from long ago. It is said that first Burundians crossed to Uganda in 1920’s and the Embassy of Burundi was established in 1963. Here, there are two jokes:
But from 1986 when the NRM Government came into power, a general memorandum of cooperation was signed on 2 November 1986. Many other memorandums were signed.
Burundi and Uganda share a lot; we are in the same community (EAC), Common Market of East and Southern Africa (COMESA). We are all participating militarily in AMISSOM, etc…

Honourable Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is known that Kampala is the most market for Burundians because a big portion of Burundi traders do travel between Bujumbura and Kampala. Burundi supports a lot the economy of Uganda.
There are bus companies linking Kampala to Bujumbura. According to figures which are not updated, Uganda exports more than USD100,000,000. But Burundi exports only around USD3.5million. It is said that money does not like noise that is why; I call upon to Burundians living in Uganda to change their mind-set, to be positive and promote the good image of Burundi. “Nta wanka kwonka nyina ngo arwaye amahere.”

For our youth, keep on preserving Burundi rich culture and building good relationship that exists between EAC partner states because it is you, youth who play a big role in developing Burundi as a Country. I inform you all that today we are celebrating two anniversaries the 56th anniversary of Independence and 11th anniversary for Burundi joining EAC.

All of us Burundians have to work hand in hand to promote the opportunities that Burundi offers in all aspects. Let us strengthen our cohesion. It is national cohesion which will enable to develop our country. Burundi is the only and one precious piece of jewelry and heritage we all Burundians have in common.

Honourable Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Conclusion, I would like once again to thank all of you distinguished guests for your precious time you have happily given to us by gracing this memorable occasion.
Thank you very much for your kind attention.

Let me now request everyone to fill his or her glass and join me in proposing a toast to the good health of H.E. Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI, cordial and growing relationship between our two sister people and countries.

Kampala, 29th June 2018

H.E. Jean Bosco BAREGE

Ambassador

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