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PRESS BRIEFING OF 14 JULY 2017

1. The month of June and the beginning of July 2017 were marked by many activities concerning Burundi on the international arena, prompting the Government to make some comments which it considered enlightening vis-à-vis of the opinion.

2. he main events that marked this period are :

 The 35th Session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva from 06 to 23 June 2017 and its conclusions,

 The 33rd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly held from 19 to 21 June 2017 in St. Julian’s (Malta) and its conclusions,

 The session of the United Nations’ Security Council held in New York on 20 June 2017 and its conclusions,

 The FIDH Report of June on Burundi, published on 4 July 2017,

 The Ordinary Summit of AU Heads of State of and Government from 03 to 04 July 2017 and its conclusions,

 The European Parliament Resolution of 6 July 2017 on Burundi, ...

3. These meetings show the willingness of the international community, especially Western and European, to maintain the dialogue with Burundi.
However some partners should refrain from trying to impose themselves by playing the role of moralizer. Nevertheless, the Government feels that the conclusions of all these meetings have been satisfactory in a number of respects because, overall, the observation is that there has been a clear change in both the political and the security situation, resulting in the fact that all unjust resolutions proposed particularly by the European Union under the leadership of the Kingdom of Belgium against Burundi were rejected.

4. Let us consider the example of the attempt by the former Belgian Prime Minister, the European Parliamentarian Louis Michel, to get a very unjust resolution on Burundi adopted during the session of the 33rd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in St. Julian, Island of Malta, and curiously returning to an old proposal to send a foreign force to Burundi, the "MAPROBU", a proposal already rejected by the Summit of African Heads of State, a way for the European Parliament to show little respect for the decisions taken by these Heads of State. Fortunately the resolution was unanimously rejected by parliamentarians from ACP countries, following the example of the people of Burundi who had rejected the project since its announcement.

Belgium took consolation in a home-adopted draft resolution by the European Parliament in its session of 06 July 2017. Let us leave the official reaction to the Burundian Parliament on this case which will have the opportunity to demonstrate to its European counterpart the extent of the inconsistency of the resolution.

5. Regarding the conclusions of the 35th Session of the Human Rights Council of Geneva, the Government had sufficiently expressed itself on the erroneous aspect of the previous reports, of which the last report was only a new edition of the previous ones. The Head of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Burundi to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, His Excellency Mr. Rénovat Tabu, had the discretion to present in detail the necessary clarifications on the lies contained in a report prepared beforehand by Burundians themselves prosecuted by the courts for the crimes committed during the coup d’état in May 2015.

6. The so-called experts themselves acknowledge that they have obtained allegations from neighboring countries, particularly in Rwanda, a country already known by the international community for its involvement in the acts of destabilization in Burundi, which you will not find anywhere in these reports, not even a single trace of the atrocities committed by the insurgents or the number of their victims, many of them especially among the policemen who constituted their top targets : a further proof of the lack of objectivity of these reports. The ministry in charge of human rights will have the opportunity to react in more details.

7. It would be useless to devote time on the FIDH report, since like all the other commissioners of its sponsor, which is the EU, its defamations against Burundi do not date from July. However, it is worth noting and highlighting some interesting features of FIDH last report which, contrary to previous reports, the term "genocide", which had become a real obsession for the detractors of Burundi was rarely used : only two times against seventy times repetitions of the term in the previous reports.

8. It is surely a forced evolution by the absence of this genocide on which the putschists and their masters had wagered and which did not take place while all the hopes to overthrow the Burundian institutions laid in this potential humanitarian catastrophe that was only a stark montage and slander. On the other hand, it should be noted that the term "genocide" has given way to that of "dictatorship" which is repeated several times. One can hope that his term will also have disappeared in the language of this Organization and in the upcoming reports. As for those who are still banking on the genocide, they will have to wait because, as President Nkurunziza has repeatedly said, there will never be genocide in Burundi, because the people have understood the ploy.

9. In addition to these topical elements focusing on external actors, there is also the national news and the achievements of the Government, which shall not be overlooked. That is to say, this month of June and the beginning of July 2017, as the Commemoration of the Independence on July 1st , the presentation of the main achievements by the various ministries, measures to revive the national economy, significant progress in justice and human rights and so on.

10. It should be recalled and underlined that the Government has made national sovereignty, both politically and economically its priority ; the people must have the first and last say in their choices of being governed or developed. And the Government accompanies this choice of the people by respecting their deep aspirations and priorities.

11. Among the economic recovery measures envisaged, there has recently been the official launching of the Steering Committee of the National Development Plan, which will serve as a beacon for our partners, who will henceforth be invited to support the needs and priorities identified and planned by the Government instead of the reverse which characterized the previous cooperation relations.

12. For the other progress made by the Government, the technical ministries concerned will be happy shed lights upon them, but I am ready to give some clarification without going into details that will be given in a more appropriate technical framework. I take this opportunity to inform you that at the end of each month, a session like this one will be organized if the agenda allows it, to exchange with the journalists on the main news items that marked the period. Thus the public conference organized quarterly with the spokespersons of the institutions will find some questions already answered.

I thank you.

Done at Bujumbura, July 14, 2017

Philippe NZOBONARIBA
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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