Since April of this year, around 250 people have been killed in this African country. The idea of a war torn Africa seems so abstract to me, having lived in a relatively silent, small part of the continent. The idea that people from my motherland are killed so mercilessly, their bodies lining the streets at night as though they were nothing more than animals, is repugnant. It is foreign. It cannot possibly be true, and yet it is. It is actual.It is life every single day for millions of Burundians.

When political leaders become so drunk on power, they don’t even see the product of their actions. President Nkurunziza decided to run for a 3rd term, in direct contrivance of his country’s constitution. Instead of choosing silence, Burundians revolted against an oppressive regime. Civil war only ended in 2005; that the President would seek to violate the treaty knowing first hand how deplorable a Civil War can be on his country is egregious. A 12 year civil war had cost 300,000 lives. That someone could be willing to descend his country back to that state to hold onto power is beyond me.

President Nkurunziza “won” the election in July, an election that had no credible monitoring body. Police are his arm of oppression using legalese to conduct random weapons searches, which are just a clandestine means to enter peoples homes to intimidate them.

African leaders need to condemn Nkurunziza, and stop this pattern of coddling between sitting Heads of States who don’t want to vacate their seats. The problem is a lot of African leaders are themselves in violation of human rights treaties and their own constitutions. After all, silence is not tantamount to peace.


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