Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza presented a new government today after being sworn in for a controversial third term. Many names from the past appear on the new list, despite promises over the past weeks of the formation of a national unity government.
Some key ministers were confirmed, in particular Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye as Defence minister and Tabu Abdallah Manirakiza at the head of Finance. Aimée Laurentine Kanyana, a member of the Constitutional Court that ratified the election of Nkurunziza despite international criticism, instead assumes the post of minister of Justice. Her predecessor Pascal Barandagiye will instead head the Interior ministry.
The new cabinet has already drawn criticism from the civil society that in the past months mobilized against Nkurunziza’s third term. Innocent Muhozi, who heads the independent Renaissance Radio, banned by the government, expressed concern particularly over the return of Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, former minister of Security. “This means that the authorities intend to fight any opponents”, he explained.
In mid August, a statement by Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD party had assured that with the President’s confirmation a unity government would be formed. A commitment reiterated also by Foreign minister Alain Nyamitwe. Also Nyamitwe was confirmed.