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REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI

embleme burundi
PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC
Secretariat-General of the Government

GOVERNMENT STATEMENT ON THE OCCASION OF THE 57th COMMEMORATION OF THE ASSASSINATION OF PRINCE LOUIS RWAGASORE

1. On the occasion of the 57th commemoration of the assassination of Prince Louis RWAGASORE, eldest son of King MWAMBUTSA BANGIRICENGE, the Government of the Republic of Burundi first thanks the Almighty God who created and gave us a Prince with exceptional physical, moral and intellectual qualities, as well as a high sense of patriotism until the supreme sacrifice, while he could live easily and quietly, especially inasmuch as he had the privilege of being born Son of the King.

2. The Government of Burundi takes this opportunity to pay a well deserved tribute to the bravery, courage and selflessness that characterized the Hero of National Independence in the struggle to help the country get rid of the colonial yoke at a time when some Burundian puppets supported the idea of the colonizers that the independence of Burundi was premature at that time.

3. Likewise, the Government of the Republic of Burundi warmly thanks King MWAMBUTSA and the people of Burundi, as well as the fellow-fighters of Prince Louis RWAGASORE, such as Pierre NGENDANDUMWE, Paul MIREREKANO and others, for the efforts made to secure an immediate independence for Burundi. They demonstrated unity, unflinching cohesion, leadership and patriotism at the cost of their lives, a legacy that all the people of Burundi are called to safeguard. The Government thanks the Family of Prince Louis RWAGASORE for their restraint, not to mention the UPRONA Party that led Burundi to National Independence.

4. Prince Louis RWAGASORE and his comrades died young. The valor does not depend upon age they say. Indeed, the important thing is what we do and the legacy we leave for future generations. The enemies and detractors of Burundi could not come to terms with their defeat and consequently brutally murdered the Prince. Although very shocked by this horrible assassination, the people of Burundi, stoic but comforted by the King MWAMBUTSA, stayed cool, calm and collected and conquered their Independence, amid the pain and the suffering. Burundi was bruised and ill-treated but remained serene and finally proudly stood up to proclaim its Sovereignty.

5. Even more painful and revolting, the murder of the Prince was followed by that of his two innocent children, a clear indication of the desire to completely eliminate this family and its offspring. And as if that was not enough, the posterity does not even know the fate of the Prince’s widow. Until now, the light has not yet been completely shaded on these murders. Admittedly, some culprits like BIRORI, NTIDENDEREZA and KAGEORGIS have been tried, convicted and executed, but the major sponsor, the Kingdom of Belgium, the colonial power of the time which was fiercely opposed to the immediate independence of Burundi, has not yet been held to account.

6. The Government of the Republic of Burundi informs the national and international opinion that the Kingdom of Belgium has a great deal of responsibility for the assassination of Prince Louis RWAGASORE and his family, as well as for the various political and ethnical crises that bereaved the country, since it is Belgium that has inoculated the virus of ethnic divisions in Burundi through their colonial policy of « divide and rule. » To this day, the Kingdom of Belgium has not yet disarmed.

The Government of Burundi intends to set up an ad hoc Technical Commission to investigate these murders, which affected Prince Louis RWAGASORE and his family so that the culprits are identified and tried. This is why the Government of Burundi continues to encourage the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to make every effort to shed light on all the evils that have plunged the country into mourning.

In addition, the Government of the Republic of Burundi commends the good work done by the Parliament, which closely follows the activities of the TRC and undertakes to implement all the recommendations it has formulated for the accomplishment of the missions of this Commission.

7. “Forewarned is forearmed”, the Government of the Republic of Burundi urges all Burundians to remain united and to maintain social cohesion, not to listen to those who want to spread discord. It is by doing so that they will have walked in the footsteps of Prince Louis RWAGASORE who sacrificed everything to his life for Burundi to accede to its Independence.

Done at Bujumbura, October 13, 2018

Prosper NTAHORWAMIYE

Secretary-General and Spokesman of the Government