Burundi has taken the route less taken by Africa; it has openly accused Belgium and brought to light an accusation that has always lived in their hearts. They have thrown caution to the wind and dared to speak up for a man that died while speaking up for them.
The authorities on Sunday accused former colonial power Belgium of ordering the assassination of independence hero and Crown Prince Louis Rwagasore in 1961, a move likely to further poison ties between the two countries.
A government statement said Belgium was the "true backer of the assassination of Rwagasore," in the first direct accusation over the murder by Bujumbura, which said it plans to probe the six-decade-old incident.
The statement said that Brussels "has yet to explain itself" over the killing of Rwagasore, who played a key role in Burundi's anti-colonial movement.
Rwagasore was named prime minister in the run-up to independence but was shot dead a month later by a Greek assassin accompanied by three Burundian members of a pro-Belgian party at a hotel in the capital - a little over a year before independence was achieved in July 1962.
He is one of Burundi's most beloved heroes, with his name gracing stadiums, schools and roads across the country.
In the statement, the government said it "plans to launch a technical commission to investigate the assassinations ... of Rwagasore" and his two young children a few months later.
You will recall that in October 2016, Belgium withdrew its ambassador to Burundi and suspended several development projects, as Bujumbura's relations with foreign allies worsened over the crisis.
The following month, the executive secretary of the ruling CNDD-FDD Evariste Ndayishimiye accused Belgium of "acting as if Burundi is still under its yoke," on Twitter, after accusing it of backing the opposition.
Who was Louis Rwagasore?
Rwagasore was born on January 10, 1932, from the Royal Tutsi family in Burundi under the rule of Belgium, he was the son of Mwami Mwambutsa IV( King Mwambutsa IV) he studied in Burundi and Rwanda at his young age and later moved to study to Belgium for a short time in 1958 in which in that same year he established the political party a pro-independence movement called UPRONA which stands for the “Union for National Progress”.
Rwagasore saw how the Belgian colonists were using ethnic tensions to divide the people of Burundi with ethnic lies so that they could easily rule them and went on and showed an example to them by marrying a woman from a different so-called ethnicity so that he could overcome the division lies implanted in the minds of Burundians by the Belgian colonists.
The Battle for Burundi's Independence
In September 1961 his UPRONA won the elections, winning 80 percent of the vote which made him have the position of Prime Minister with an agenda to prepare the country for independence.
Only one month after, on the 13th October the same year 1961, the young and intelligent 29 years old Prince was assassinated by a Greek national named Jean Kageorgis, with the help of three Burundians who were in a different political party called the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) to stop Burundi’s bid for independence.
His tomb is constructed on the hills overlooking the city of Bujumbura and consists of a memorial with three arches. The original inscription above the arches read “Dieu, Roi, Patrie” meaning (God, King, Country).
Today, the people of Burundi from all generations after him remember the life and death of the father and hero of independence every year on the Prince Louis Rwagasore Day.
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Source(s): Region Week, All Africa
Header Image: Wikipedia