President Nkurunziza, Give Your People a New Year Gift of Peace

first_imgNever before in the history of Burundi has the country’s peace depended solely on one man—Pierre Nkurunziza.The whole world, but most especially the Burundian people themselves, know the recent history of this East African nation—a history that turned the nation topsy-turvy (upside down). Bloodshed and instability ensued. Yes, it started just eight months ago, last April, when PresidentNkurunziza made his ominous announcement that, despite the constitutional restriction and clear and unmistakable opposition of his people, he would seek a third term of office.To demonstrate their opposition and distaste for this unconstitutional move by their President, the people took to the streets demonstrating against his decision. But instead of bowing to the will of the people, instead of sensing the resolute undercurrent of discontent in the country, the President responded with brutality and bloodshed, killing, maiming and imprisoning anyone his ruthless security forces could put their hands on. The situation became so desperate that neighboring Rwandan President Paul Kagame was forced to ask, “What kind of politics is this”—killing people every day just to stay in power against the will of the people.President Kagame had reason to be disturbed by the horrendous developments in Burundi. Already thousands of Burundians, fleeing the widening violence, had voted, with their feet next door into Rwanda seeking refuge. President Kagame feared the outbreak of civil war in Burundi, which would seriously threaten the peace in the sub-region and in Rwanda itself—a country which, under his astute and progressive leadership, has over the past decade made serious and remarkable economic, political and economic progress.So successful has Rwanda become that it shines as a highly positive example of good governance and progress. For this reason, the people last week voted in a referendum to change the constitution to allow their enlightened, forward-looking and successful to seek a third term of office.Our only prayer is that President Paul Kagame, realizing that his prospective reelection would mark his last term of office, will not change course by relaxing his progressive, development-oriented program and start taking the people and everything else for granted.We think the warning is appropriate and timely because we have seen it in all too many places, where leaders in their last term just sit and do little or nothing, leaving the country stagnant and retrogressive and the people in a state of despondency, despair and decay. Some leaders in their last term also turn repressive, and start ruling the country with an iron fist, causing more suffering and economic and financial suffocation. President Kagame must avoid this at all cost and let the light of one East African nation radiate throughout the continent, inspiring others.But how can President Nkurunziza bring peace to Burundi? He can do so by developing the courage, goodwill and compassion for his suffering and troubled people by resigning the presidency. This alone will immediately restore the peace in Burundi and cause the people to rejoice and even thank him for diffusing the rising political chaos threatening the country. The people would be happy and so would he, and the country would be restored to peace and normalcy, ready even at additional expense, to stage a new free, fair and transparent election that would cause the world, too, to rejoice and be glad in the New Year, 2016.Perhaps this is something President Kagame can make happen by visiting his fellow President and giving him a simple advice—“Step aside and restore the peace in your country. Your people will thank you for it.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_imgWhere: Sands Bowl, 43323 Sierra Highway, Lancaster Meetings: A.V. Republican Women, Federated meet What: The Antelope Valley Republican Women, Federated, will hold a luncheon meeting, with social time at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the program at 12:30 p.m. Guest speakers are Lancaster City Councilman Ron Smith and Lew Stults, district director representing Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon’s office. Guests are welcome and reservations are required. Call (661) 274-8533. When: 11:30 a.m. Where: Holiday Inn, 38630 Fifth St. W., Palmdale Wednesday Clubs: `Let’s Eat Out’ Dinner What: J & J Social and Travel Club will host a “Let’s Eat Out” Dinner with an optional movie following. For reservations, call (661) 267-2586. When: 5:30 p.m. Where: Red Lobster, 1041 Rancho Vista Blvd., Palmdale Meetings: Weekly grief support meetings What: Hoffmann Hospice offers free weekly grief support meetings in our Palmdale office at 1543 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite N, Palmdale. Grief support meetings are open to all in need. The meetings provide the necessary tools to aid individuals throughout the grieving process. For inquiries, please call (661) 272-2355 When: 5:30-7 p.m. Where: 1543 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite N, Palmdale Friday General: A.V. Fairground Home Show What: 19th annual Antelope Valley Fairgrounds Home Show sponsored by Hunter Dodge opens its doors just days after the spring equinox, otherwise known as the official start of spring. The three-day affair features more than 200 vendors, a free Home Depot workshop for kids, landscaping and how-to seminars, plant sales, wine tasting, a drawing for free fair tickets and free tomato plant giveaway (while supplies last!). Attendees can also pick up the A.V. Fair & Alfalfa Festival 2007 Exhibit Entry Guide (premium book) at the show. Admission: Adults (ages 12-61) are $5, children (11 and under) free with paid adult, seniors (age 62+) $4. Where: Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, 2551 W. Ave. H (at the 14 Freeway), Lancaster When: Friday, noon-6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Health: Bereavement support group Posted by: Kaiser Permanente What: Bereavement support groups for adults are available at Lancaster Presbyterian Church. The groups are sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and meet weekly. These groups are open to the community as well as to members of Kaiser Permanente. There is no fee for attending. The groups are facilitated by trained bereavement volunteers provided by the Kaiser Permanente Hospice Department. For more caring support or information, call the Bereavement Line at (818) 375-3528. Registration is not required. When: 10-11:30 a.m. Where: 1661 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster Clubs: Games Snack Night What: J&J Social and Travel Club will have a Cards, Po-keno and Other Games Snack Night. Bring food and a beverage to share. For information, call (661) 267-2586 or (661) 723-3237. When: 7 p.m. Where: Joanne Marshall’s, 42941 15th St. W., Lancaster Saturday Clubs: 2nd annual Phun Time PT Cruiser Car Show What: 2nd annual Phun Time PT Cruiser Car Show in Lancaster. The PT group Phun Time Cruisers is putting on its second annual car show. Detail flier and registration form found at www.blaznpt.com/. Click on Phun Time Cruisers then click on schedule. When: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Where: Tom’s 26, 1805 W. Ave. J, Lancaster March 25 Day Activities: Palm Springs Air Museum What: The Palmdale parks and recreation department is offering an excursion to the Palm Springs Air Museum. The bus will depart from the parks and recreation office at 38260 10th St. E. at 7 a.m. and return at 7 p.m. The excursion fee is $23 per person for Palmdale residents and $28 for nonresidents. The fee includes museum admission. For more information, call (661) 267-5611 or log on to www.cityofpalmdale.org When: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Where: Palm Springs Air Museum 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Where: 1543 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite N., Palmdale Tuesday Clubs: League Bowling What: J&J Social and Travel Club will hold its weekly league bowling. For information, call (661) 267-2586. When: 6-8 p.m. Sunday Volunteering: Seeking Volunteers What: Hoffmann Hospice, the A.V.’s only nonprofit hospice agency, is seeking volunteers to join our team. Volunteers are key members to our program. Volunteers must be older than 18, flexible according to availability and in good health. Training and ongoing support is available to ensure a rewarding experience. To find out how to become part of our special volunteer program, contact Shannon Thompson, volunteer coordinator, at (661) 272-2355. When: Ongoing last_img