Burundi Government to establish the counter-terrorism operational center.

The Burundi Council of Ministers met on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, under the chairmanship of the head of State Pierre Nkurunziza with thirteen points on the agenda according to the press release of the general secretariat of the government.

According to the statement, the Council analyzed the draft law on the ratification by Burundi of the Constitution and the Convention of the African Union on Telecommunications. The project was adopted for finalization by a team designated for this purpose. The Council then analyzed the draft decree on the organization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Foreign Ministry to change its name to match with the current state of affairs.

The statement said that the change of name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Ministry of Foreign Affairs only caused the change of the missions of the Ministry and therefore a new reorganization of the Ministry according to the new decree.

The new reorganization takes into account the politico-diplomatic realities of the moment, the bilateral and multilateral cooperation while avoiding the confusions and conflicts of competence of these two domains. This project proposes a new organization of the ministry to comply with the aforementioned decree. The project was adopted with some corrections. Also on the agenda was the draft law on the suppression of acts of terrorism in Burundi.

Creation of Terrorism Operational Center on the table.

The present project of Terrorism Operational Center proposes to repress these terrorist acts by increasing the penalties in order to discourage the sponsors, the authors, the co-authors, and the accomplices. After discussions and debate, the Council noted that it is necessary to make a comparative analysis of this project with the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to avoid contradictions on the facts and their repression.

A ministerial team has been appointed and the project will be brought back within two weeks as well as the project of setting up the Terrorism Operational Center. The Board also analyzed the SOSUMO Change of Management and Share Capital Structure Bill.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations analyzed by the Council of Ministers.

It was adopted with a recommendation to inform the Council regularly on the progress of the file. Then comes the bill to amend the law of May 15, 2014, establishing the mandate, composition, organization, and functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The communique states that when the interim report was presented to Parliament on October 10, 2018, after an exchange of parliamentarians, a resolution with recommendations was sent to the government.

On the basis of these recommendations, the present draft proposes changes, inter alia, in relation to the extension of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commision and the replacement of a member of the commission, the insertion of a provision which allows the parliament  to evaluate at midterm the achievements of the commission so as to have a legal basis, to include the period of colonization in the mandate of the commission, to give the commission the competence to manage the human remains dug up from the mass graves up to the manifestation of the truth and specify under what conditions the assistance of international experts is required as well as the qualities and skills to be demanded. The project was adopted with some corrections.

Various projects analyzed by the Council of ministers.

The Board also analyzed and adopted the draft ministerial order setting the spending commitment ceilings for the second quarter of 2018/2019 and the draft ministerial order revising the joint ministerial order of 10/08/2017. defining the eligibility criteria as a priority undertaking for the national economy.

The draft Joint Ministerial Order on the General Regulation of Fisheries and Aquaculture was also analyzed by the Council. After exchange and debate, the Council noted that the text needed to be re-analyzed in depth and set up a team to work on it at the same time as the draft order on the organization of the breeding and exploitation of aquarium fish. These projects will be finished within a month.

The Council also discussed the Memorandum of Understanding between Burundi and MANGO TREE Group Co Ltd on the project for the promotion of lake transport on Lake Tanganyika. After exchange and debate, the Council considered that it was necessary to analyze at the same time all the files of the economic operators who propose to invest in this sector, to harmonize them and to see the best bidder. A commission has been set up to deal with them and these files will be prepared for the Council of Ministers within one month.

Reference was also made to the revised Memorandum of Understanding between Burundi and the United Republic of Tanzania on the proposed construction of the Uvinza-Musongati Railway. The statement said that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries expired in September 2016 while the project is still relevant.

There is, therefore, a need to extend the duration of the Memorandum of Understanding. In addition, Burundi must take into account the transport of ores at other sites other than Musongati and build a railway station at Gitega, hence the inclusion of the Musongati-Gitega section in the project. The project will be called Gitega-Musongati-Uvinza-Tabora. The project has been adopted.

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