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29.06.2020 Europe

Burundi's slimmed-down cabinet dominated by ex-regime hardliners

By Michael Fitzpatrick - RFI
LISTEN JUN 29, 2020

Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye has unveiled a slimmed-down cabinet of only 15 ministers, dominated by former regime hardliners such as the head of the feared intelligence service.

Ndayishimiye took office earlier this month after the sudden death of veteran leader Pierre Nkurunziza. Many Burundians had hoped for a new era after years of rights abuses, repression and violence.

However Ndayishimiye, an army general handpicked by the ruling party to succeed Nkurunziza, has placed some of the regime's most controversial characters in his government, in the cabinet announced on Sunday.

According to an announcement on national television, Gervais Ndirakobuca, head of the feared national intelligence services, was named interior minister.

Ndirakobuca was sanctioned in 2015 by the US for "silencing those opposed" to Nkurunziza's third term bid. He is also under sanctions from France and the European Union.

Burundi's ambassador to the United Nations, Albert Shingiro, has been appointed foreign minister.

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