Ndayishimiye sworn in as Burundi’s new president

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It is the first time in the history of Burundi as Evariste Ndayishimiye has been sworn in as Burundi’s new president before the people and not not before the parliament, taking oath at a colourful ceremony in the capital, Gitega, after the sudden death of his predecessor.
Africa-News reports that in his oath on Thursday, Ndayishimiye pledged to “devote all my force to defending the superior interests of the nation and ensure the national unity and cohesion of the Burundian people, peace and social justice”.
The Catholic archbishop of Gitega, Bishop Simon Ntamwana also in his speech said he should understand that he is a son of God and as such must bring peace among Burundians, you know how much we need it.
“Bring back to our country the refugees in the camps, bring back the intellectuals in exile so that they can take part in the development of our country, renew ties with the international community so they can help us develop,” he said.
Pierre Nkurunziza, who ruled the East Africa nation for 15 often tumultuous years, died of a heart attack last week.
With little sign of face masks or social distancing at the ceremony, it appeared there was no immediate change in the government’s belief that divine protection would largely suffice to prevent the coronavirus, despite suspicion that Nkurunziza died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Some regional leaders and human rights groups expressed their hopes that the new president, an ally of Nkurunziza, might break with certain ways of his predecessor.
In a statement also, Amnesty International called on Ndayishimiye to rein in the Imbonerakure youth wing of the ruling party, accused of killings and other abuses, and urged the immediate freeing of imprisoned journalists and others jailed for exercising their human rights.
The rights group also urged Burundi’s new leader to investigate the deadly violence that followed Nkurunziza’s decision in 2015 to pursue a third term, which many called unconstitutional. Africa-News reports.

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