What’s happening in Burundi is not due to ethnicity but manipulative politicians

Editor,  REFERENCE IS made to Lonzen Rugira’s article, “The politics of crises in Burundi” (The New Times, March 17). 


REFERENCE IS made to Lonzen Rugira’s article, “The politics of crises in Burundi” (The New Times, March 17). 

Burundi’s politics is very complicated. The issue is not the ethnicity. We have Hutu and Tutsi in the CNDD-FDD and we have Hutu and Tutsi in the opposition.

The problem is with the political actors. The issue is good governance. What Mr Rugira should perhaps have said is that the model was correct but we should’ve ensured that it was backed by a deliberate effort to see to it that leaders in the ruling party or the opposition have at least minimum competence.

To sum up, Burundi doesn’t suffer from ethnic divisions anymore, but from political incompetence.

Charles Ntwari, Bujumbura, Burundi


I THINK what most people fail to grasp is that all this mess in Burundi is not really due to ethnicity. It is just some politicians who are trying to make it look ethnic while it is not – and I doubt it ever was. It is all about how people understand things.

If two politicians have the same political agenda, it does no longer matter whether they are different in ethnicity; they will work together. 

And, in addition, if two politicians diverge in their agenda, it does not matter whether they share the same ethnicity or not; they will not understand each other.

Please put these conflicts in the right perspective.


Jean-Léon Iragena, 

United States



IT SHOULD be possible to differ on a certain point and give an opinion without being nervous. If what was referred to as “myopic” turned to be remedy for Burundi, that will be so right. All that people want is peace and development. 

But as Mr. Iragena put it, some politicians try to make it sound ethnic while it is not. And personally, I would add that one has to think deeper to understand that it isn’t.

This had been their game in the past, people were killed because of that, and it’s the game today. But with devoted and visionary leadership things can be fine in that beautiful country, because some Burundians have understood too that ethnic politics is recipe for disaster.

Amin Ndikumana, Paris, France


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