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Burundi at 58: Bujumbura hosts first post-Nkurunziza celebrations


Burundi on Wednesday (July 1) marked its 58th independence anniversary. The official ceremony in the capital Bujumbura featured colorful parades by security personnel and civilians.

Presiding over the event was President Evariste Ndayishimiye who ascended to power in June following the death of President Pierre Nkuruzinza. He cautioned the nation against being used as “instruments of colonialists.”

“On this day there is no Burundian who could not celebrate, except a Burundian who is used by the colonialists, there is no Burundian who does not know this day because it is a day that reminds us of the misery that the Burundians endured,” the president stressed.

He also paid tribute to his predecessor Nkurunziza, whom he credited for teaching the nation the spirit of patriotism. Congratulating Burundians on the successful conduct of May’s general election, Ndayishimiye urged the nation to foster unity and work towards peace and development.

In a statement, the US State Department commended the Burundian people for their commitment to a peaceful transition of power in their recent national elections. Burundi and Rwanda gained independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962.

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