Monday, 24 March 2014

Burundi - Threats to National Security: Jogging with Other People

It's never a good thing when African (or any other) governments start randomly banning things on security grounds. Burundi's latest move should definitely ring alarm bells - they've banned people from jogging in groups in Bujumbura because "opposition parties are using them as an excuse to organise "uprisings", Bujumbura's mayoral spokesperson said on Thursday". A group, for the record, refers to two or more people.

Burundi has been growing restive and the UN has called for "restraint and dialogue" ahead of presidential elections in 2015. The country has also been dragged into the escalating diplomatic drama between South Africa and Rwanda - one of Burundi's diplomats joined the three Rwandans who were expelled from South Africa recently for planning to assassinate Rwandan opposition leaders on South African soil.

Burundi has had a particularly difficult post-independence history, including a long civil war (from which, out of interest, South African assisted them to extricate themselves) and a small genocide alongside the Rwandan one. The rising tensions do not bode well.

Wonder how the US feels about their USD13.1 million 2012 military aid to Burundi now?

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