Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Burundi Is Lacerated Too

"This world is not my home. I am just passing through."

The phrases prior were harmonized by a musical gem, Jim Reeves(RIP).

In the past 24 months or so, it has become not just a song, but a harsh reality. This world is marred by violence. The human race is a threat to the human race. We are own architects of self destruction. We ought to attain social justice. We deserve political justice. Harmonious existence is a fable. Just let us have peace for a minute. It is not a lot to ask. We are ready to be our own martyrs if it's for the sake of sanity and solidarity. There are people who care, at least it so looks like it.

On the 13th day of November, 2015, there were series of cordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, for which the ISIS (Islamic State Of Iraq and Syria/al-Sham) claimed responsibility. The scenes were beyond ugly. How atrocious! The entire world was taken aback. In the guise of solidarity, electronic media was awash with flags of France. Most notably, world leaders, Africans inclusive had more than a thing to say against the attacks. How thoughtful!

On 25 April 2015, the ruling political party in Burundi, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), announced that the incumbent President of Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, would run for a third term in the 2015 presidential election. This sparked national uproar, protests, uprisings and unrest. As a result, at least 100,000 have fled Burundi, and others have as well lost their lives in the process. It is seemingly translating back to the 1994 times in Rwanda. The streets of Bujumbura are best described by animosity.

Notably though, the stand of African leaders on the matter is as known as the face of Osama Bin Laden hangman. (Is that the name of the person that hangs another?) It's baffling but then again, we are all human.

George Orwell, in his masterpiece "Animal Farm," points out that "Some animals are more equal than others." It's true there's a reason the fingers on a human hand aren't of the same length. Decipher the implications of both kinds of unrest, and you'll have the response right infront of you.

Whereas France is a world super power, Burundi is a minnow. France is part of the G8 community (now G7 after Russia's suspension). As of 2012, the G8 nations cumulatively composed 50.1% of 2012 global nominal GDP & 40.9% of global GDP (PPP). The world had to be influenced into bombarding terrorism out of France for the sake of the economy. All the solidarity shown at football games, parades and in different theatres was an amazing sign but maybe it was just the perfect cover for the bigger picture.

What does Burundi bring to the table though? Since they are a land locked country, they have no ports that benefit other members in the EAC. Also, they are fresh entrants in the organization. Maybe, we best let the dead bury the dead, like the Lord Jesus told his would-be apostles. With an economy majorly reliant on agriculture, surely those that import from Burundi have considered substitutes. Not even the light manufacturing industry is a beacon of hope for the dwindling economy. Burundi's budgetary balance fell from 0.4% of GDP in 2013 to -1.2% of GDP in 2014 & her current account deficit, including transfers, worsened from 8.3% of GDP in 2013 to 9.5% of GDP in 2014.

It'll leave you gobsmarked that our neighbours can't rely on the influence of our leaders for the hope of a lifeline and survival, to see a new day. There is just no room for sanity and social justice in the world today, but rather 'How does helping you butter the bread on my table?' Which makes me wonder; what would Magufuli do?

Bend a knee, shed a tear, bow your head, say a prayer for Burundi. Most importantly, pray for world peace and solidarity.

Ref: Sibaye Joël Tokindang, Daniel
Gbetnkom "Burundi" ; African Economic Outlook (2015)