The ruling party in Burundi the CNDD-FDD has appointed Evariste Ndayishimiye as party president at its party congress that took place in Gitega, central Burundi. Sunday is off and blessed. We have been praying for several days and God has made his choice. Today everyone will know who he is,” Nkurunziza said in an introductory speech before more than 1000 delegates of the ruling party. Ndayishimiye, a former high ranking military officer, who also fought in the bush alongside Nkurunziza, is 52 years old and was born in Gitega Province.
He joined the rebellion after the assassination of President Ndadaye in 1993 after an attack against Hutu students at the University of Burundi, where more than 100 students were killed by some Tutsi extremists. Ndayishimiye was elected because he is a former fighter and has good relations Nkurunziza.
During this congress, invited guests were asked to leave and allow the ruling party to decide who will be the candidate to replace Nkurunziza. Ndayishimiye said in his speech that he will keep good relations with his predecessor and will respect him as they were on good terms even before 2003 ceasefire agreement.
Nkurunziza said in 2018 that he was stepping aside to give his successor a chance to continue his work. Last week Nkurunziza said that almost all challenges are over that his successor will face few problems. The Burundi crisis began in 2015 after the announcement by Nkurunziza that he was seeking reelection for a third term. The crisis claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Burundians according to rights groups, and created 390,000 refugees in the region.
Most of the officials accused of crimes were targeted by EU and US sanctions. The ICC opened preliminary investigations before Burundi decided to leave the ICC three years ago.
Burundi rejected any collaboration with the UN Human Rights Agency and its panelists were accused by the Government of being enemies of the state. Countries like Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, Cuba, Turkey, China, Russia and others remain the only countries that the Nkurunziza regime can trust and were invited and applauded during the Sunday congress.
On the other hand, countries like the US, Switzerland, UK, France, Belgium and their allies were booed even though they were invited during the congress ceremonies. Other invited guests were the UN, AU and ruling political parties in Cuba, Congo Brazaville, Turkey, and Zambia.