Burundi arrests journalist over security commentary after Kampala bombings

he day after Kampala was bombed and 76 lives takes, our Minister of Internal Affiars Matia Kasaija came out and said they were caught off guard but with time reports showed Uganda has been warned well in advance before the July 11 bombings. Then after that there have been commentaries from Ugandan journalists and the public about how our security agencies were incapable (probably still are) of stopping Al Shabaab from wrecking havoc in our country.

Today a Burundian online journalist faces treason for questioning the ability of Burundi’s security forces to prevent an Al Shabaab attack. Burundi and Uganda are the only African countries to find themselves stuck in the Somalia war as peacekeepers, a role that most of Africa has stayed away for the last three years. Al Shaabab has already warned that Bujumbura is on their targets as they to force the two countries out of Somalia.

If Nkurunziza’s government can arrest a journalist for questioning their capability, where is the hope of Burundian citizens? Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world and it has not really stabilized after years of civil war. Nkurunziza was voted in a one-man show election recently and the situation remains fragile.

The Burundian government has a heavy task to shield a country that has seen bloodshed for years from yet another destabilizing factor – the Al Shabab. To stifle debate in the country will add nothing to secure that country. The journalist could face life imprisonment if found guilty. Uganda and Burundi find themselves under immense pressure after Al Shabaab succefully attacked Uganda a little over a week ago. Can the two countries convince other African countries to go to Somalia to make the mission look more continental in nature? This will be seen as it plays out at the African Union summit that is underway in Kampala.

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