Burundi President on a tightrope as the struggle between him and his former Prime Minister rages on.
President Evariste Ndayishimiye has had to walk a fine line between bringing change to Burundi and appeasing the elites who helped put him in office. Since entering office, the former army commander has made efforts to differentiate his rule from that of his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza.
Burundi’s President Evariste Ndayishimiyeni is aiming to make an impression on the country’s religious groups, particularly the purportedly political evangelical churches, by selecting 26 new army commanders and reshuffling five of the government’s 15 ministries.
Ndirakobuca has asked for the closure of 42 places of worship used by members of the Iriba Ry’Urukundo evangelical church in Burundi.
Ndirakobuca, who served as president for two years, pushed through an amendment to the Religious Denominations Act requiring greater openness on church finances, hours of operation, and locations. Bunyoni was fired as a result of this.
Ndayishimiye met Pope Francis in March and paid a visit to Muyaga, Burundi’s first Catholic church. He intends to develop connections with Catholics in preparation for the country’s 125th anniversary of evangelization.
President Ndayishimiye is opposing his predecessor, the evangelical Pierre Nkurunziza, who was widely chastised by the Catholic hierarchy. Denise Nkurunziza, Nkurunziza’s widow, has remained powerful inside Bujumbura’s Eglise du Rocher.
Ndayishimiye’s inaugural address included a lengthy tribute to Nkurunziza, but he rapidly veered off course, pronouncing the coronavirus epidemic “the biggest adversary of Burundians.” He traveled overseas, gradually reintroducing Burundi to the world.
In 2021, the president referred to his seclusion, claiming that he would die of weariness while attempting to root out corruption.
Ndayishimiye is not identified with the greatest atrocities committed by his predecessor’s dictatorship, but he also did not stand out as attempting to quell the violence that erupted after the 2015 election.
Ndayishimiye, Burundi’s new president, has been lauded for bringing a breath of fresh air to the nation, but others wonder how far he is ready to go to alter the status quo.
Ndayishimiye was a student at the University of Burundi during the time of the civil war, which killed 300,000 people. He ascended through the ranks to become the primary negotiator in ceasefire talks.
Evariste Ndayishimiye is an open-minded guy who enjoys joking and laughing with his friends, but he is prone to get carried away.