Burundi has celebrated its 54th independence anniversary with a low key military parade in the presence of representatives of several African leaders.
The venue of this year’s event was semi-deserted as the public failed to turn up for the country’s Independence day celebrations due to heightened insecurity in some parts of the capital, Bujumbura.
An ally of President Nkurunziza and former president of Tanzania assured the people that the present hard times will soon come to an end.
“ President Magufuli has the pleasure to announce to you that Tanzania will be with you, as well as all the people of Burundi, under the sun, rain, morning or evening.“he said.
Burundi’s Foreign Minister, Alain Nyamitwe had on Thursday led a delegation of foreign diplomats on a tour of some parts of the country as part of the east African nation’s diplomatic day.
The annual event gives diplomats a chance to see activities across the country firsthand and engage with senior government officials.
However, critics said the government-organized tour was a face-saving publicity stunt aimed at convincing the diplomats that the country is at peace.
They complained it was prompted by a recent U.N. human rights report that expressed concern on the arbitrary arrests of opponents in the country.
But the Burundian government has rejected the accusations saying they are aimed at undermining the administration of the country and to make president Pierre Nkurunziza and his government globally unpopular.
Opponents reiterated that the government should have allowed the diplomats to explore the country on their own to examine if it is peaceful or not as claimed by Bujumbura.