Belgian FM urges expedition of assassination case in Burundi

23 Jun 2011

Belgian FM urges expedition of assassination case in Burundi

Bujumbura, June 30, 2011_ Visiting Belgian Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Steven Vanackere urges Burundian leaders to speed up the case of the assassination of anti-graft activist Ernest Manirumva.

The Belgian official made the call on Friday during a presentation at the University of Burundi in the capital Bujumbura.

Vanackere, who arrived on Thursday, proposed the African country accelerate the handling of the case of Manirumva, who was killed on April 9, 2009.

The advise was contained in a statement entitled "Burundi and Belgium: Two nations at the heart of a continent, two nations with regional vocation".

Burundian Second Deputy-President Gervais Rufyikiri took part in the presentation.

"The bloody assassination of Ernest Manirumva, vice-chairman of the Observatory for the Fight against Corruption and Economic Embezzlement (OLUCOME) tarnished the image of Burundi in the eyes of the international community. Two years without knowing his killers is long period," Vanackere said.

Meanwhile, Vanackere hailed the work of the Burundian civil society and that of the media for their "courageous role" in building democracy and good governance in Burundi.

He said, "The Burundian civil society and the media have been doing a great job through of denouncing bad practices and even accepting to take risks like death as it happened to Ernest Manirumva."

Reacting to Vanackere's statement, Rufyikiri said the Justice Ministry is doing all its best to elucidate circumstances under which the OLUCOME vice-chairman was assassinated.

"I assure you that the Justice Ministry is doing all its best to shed light on circumstances under which OLUCOME Vice-Chairman Ernest Manirumva was assassinated. With the new policy of accountability underway since the beginning of this year, and with the new strategy on good governance and the fight against poverty, we are concretizing our commitment for the country's socio- economic development," Rufyikiri said.

On an earlier occasion, Vanackere met Burundian First Deputy- President Therence Sinunguruza to affirm the progress on democracy and good governance in Burundi, while urging more efforts in that regard.

Vanackere is expected to inaugurate the new building hosting the office of the governor of Burundi's central province of Mwaro on Saturday, some 60 km east of the capital Bujumbura before flying back to Belgium.

The premise was funded by Belgium.