David Irakoze– This Wednesday, former Burundian President Pierre Buyoya shed light on his resignation as a high representative of the African Union for Mali and the Sahel. He explained that he wants to devote more time to “restore his image tarnished by the file of the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye, killed in 1993”. (SOS Media Burundi)
Pierre Buyoya spoke from Bamako, the Malian capital.
“Of my own accord, I have decided to submit my resignation to the chairman of the African Union Commission. In my soul and conscience, I deemed it preferable to free myself from these responsibilities in order to have the necessary time to defend myself and wash my honor, despite the multiple obstacles ”, he detailed in a statement made public this Wednesday.
The man who has served Mali and the Sahel as the AU’s top representative since 2012 hopes to have contributed on behalf of Africa’s most important organization.
“I have made my modest contribution on behalf of the African Union in the search for solutions to the problems which affect the countries of the Sahel in general and Mali in particular. I am leaving my post when the situation in Mali is still critical, and there are still challenges in the Sahel region. However, I have confidence in the leaders and people of the region. They have the capacity to face this situation, and to build lasting peace, ”he said.
Officially, Mr. Buyoya has not yet left office.
The AU secretariat, which took note of his resignation, asked him to wait a bit because the African Union is conducting elections in several organs.
He always takes care of current affairs.
On October 19, the former Burundian president was sentenced to life imprisonment as well as 17 other former dignitaries and senior officers of the former regular army Ex FAB (Burundian Armed Forces before the integration of armed movements).
They were accused of having planned and ordered the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, the first democratically elected Hutu president in Burundi.
However, he says that this file is riddled with several irregularities.
“The most curious thing is that the court set up a whole bunch of obstacles to prevent us from asserting our defenses: refusal of visas to our foreign lawyers, refusal of our Burundian lawyers to access the file, refusal of the registry. to receive our appeal files,… in short, everything was orchestrated to condemn us behind closed doors ”, estimates the one who led Burundi from 1987 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2003 after coups d’état.
And to reassure: “I would like to solemnly reiterate that I am innocent of the crimes of which I was accused during this parody of justice”.
He intends to lodge an appeal and explore other avenues such as seizing regional and international courts and tribunals.
Appointed in October 2012 as the AU’s high representative for Mali and the Sahel, relations between Buyoya and the CNDD-FDD regime began to deteriorate in 2015, suspected of having united with the leaders of the coup. missed this year.
Mr. Buyoya regrets that the stability regained following the 2000 Arusha Accords was broken in 2015 when the then-president decided to “violate the rules relating to the limitation of presidential terms to two”.
(Source: SOS media Burundi)