1. For quite some time, Defence and Security Forces, especially in the city of Bujumbura and sometimes on a few positions in the upcountry, have been attacked by terrorist groups that do not spare civilian population or public places at high concentration of people.
2. Following the simultaneous attacks this Friday, December 11, 2015 on some military installations in the capital city Bujumbura, and following various reactions in connection with the response characterized by speed, efficiency and above all the professionalism shown by Defence and Security Forces to neutralize the terrorists, the Government of Burundi welcomes the reaction of some of its partners on one hand, surprised and even shocked by the tendentious and full of amalgam statements by some other partners on the other hand.
3. Indeed, the Government of Burundi noted and appreciated that the international community, starting with the UN Security Council and the African Union strongly condemned the perpetrators of these attacks while reminding the urgency of Dialogue to achieve a lasting peace and prevent further violence.
4. However, the Government of Burundi is surprised by the amalgam used by the Belgian Government through statements made by its Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reyenders who, while condemning the violence of those that he describes as assailants, condemned without evidence Burundian security forces for using disproportionate force in their response, as if Belgium knew the nature, quality and quantity of the weapons used by the terrorists to affirm the disproportion of the response.
5. The Belgian Minister goes further, urging the UN Security Council and the Peace and Security Council of the African Union to take the population protection measures that are needed. It clearly sounds as if Belgium ignores that Burundi is a sovereign state with capable defence and security forces, composed in the spirit of national unity inspired by the Arusha Accords unlike those of previous regimes, and which are thus able to secure the population and the institutions of the country as evidenced by quickly and efficiently thwarting the coup of May 13, 2015.
6. While dealing with the attacks of this December 11, 2015, security forces, as everywhere in the world, intervened quickly with their proven professionalism even beyond Burundian borders.
7. For those who speak of disproportionate response, it should be recalled that Burundian Security Forces are faced over the recent days by a situation similar to the one just experienced the French and Belgian police during the attacks against the Bataclan Theater and other public places like a string of cafes and restaurants in Paris.
Not only the entire French police were mobilized with all the means within its reach, but also the Brussels police and army have deployed their full arsenal in Molenbeek looking for a single terrorist who is yet to be neutralized. One may wonder what the Belgian Police would have done had it been confronted with the same situation as that of Burundi or should a Belgian army barrack be attacked by unknown persons.
8. For the Government of Burundi, had it not been restraint and professionalism of law enforcers, the situation would have been more dramatic, and it is the same professionalism they demonstrate wherever they are sent on peacekeeping missions in countries in difficulty that they constantly manifest at home to defend the country and their fellow citizens and they are rather to be commended.
It would therefore be irrelevant to talk of sending Foreign Forces in Burundi while the latter is the first African supplier of peacekeeping troops. Those advocating for sending troops in Burundi hide many other intentions.
9. The Government of Burundi requests Belgium to remember its historical responsibility for the past and present of Burundi, its former colony, and instead of standing as an accuser, Belgium should rather play an advocacy role for Burundi within the European Union.
Belgian Government taking position in the Burundian conflict and for individuals or groups involved in the current violence is a real obstacle to any reconciliation efforts of the people of Burundi, and Belgium will bear full responsibility.
10. Regarding the inclusive dialogue recommended, the Government can also hardly hide its surprise about the confusion deliberately fostered by a certain opinion, associating attacks by unidentified terrorist groups without any claim with the opening of a dialogue when one knows that dialogue will be between well-known partners.
11. The Government of Burundi wishes to stress in this regard that the Inter-Burundian dialogue has already started and that Burundians from both inside and the Diaspora are convened.
It would therefore be irresponsible to link this dialogue to terrorist groups that coldly kill innocent citizens and that deserve rather unanimous condemnation as terrorists and not be considered as partners in dialogue that they do not even ask for.
12. The Government of Burundi is quite convinced that the perpetrators of these attacks, those who provide them with weapons and support them financially are those who have no other purpose than to undermine the dialogue that the Government has always given precedence and to which it remains committed.
Done at Bujumbura, December 15, 2015
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-