In May 2015, Pierre Nkurunziza's illegal candidacy for a third term was met with a major protest movement. Peaceful protests against this violation of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation were suppressed in blood. From the beginning, Burundian women have mobilized within the Women and Girls Movement to respect the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. With audacity and success, they demonstrated and advocated for a return to legality. The ensuing ferocious repression drove many into exile and claimed the lives of a few.
These committed citizens have not been discouraged. They quickly reorganized, expanding their horizons by associating themselves with other Barundikazi of the diaspora engaged in the same struggle. Also aware of the need to address the root causes of this umpteenth political crisis and to facilitate their advocacy mission, the women agreed to rename the organization: Movement for Women and Girls for peace and security in Burundi - MFFPS.
In two years, the political crisis has taken on alarming proportions. The repression of the Bujumbura regime has resulted in more than 1,000 deaths and more than 350. 000 trips, both inside and outside the country; women and children paying the highest price.
Faced with the excesses of a regime that used violence as a mode of governance, the Barundikazi continued to express their position in favour of a return to legality, peace and security in Burundi. Like many civil society organizations, MFFPS continually advocates for the protection of citizens and for an inclusive dialogue between the Government of Burundi and all stakeholders in the crisis. They alert, denounce in all possible ways: Demonstrations, press releases, alert and awareness messages, interviews, lobbying, position papers and advocacy missions, etc
In addition to the overriding issue of protecting citizens, the MFFPS Barundikazi must ensure that women and girls are actively involved in all crisis-resolution processes: The inter-Burundian dialogue process, but also in citizen awareness efforts aimed at creating a new era for the country: An era of democracy, ethical leadership, respect for laws and socio-cultural values. An era of peace.
STATEMENT ANNOUNCING THE CHANGE OF NAME
On this day of September 21, commemorating the International Day of Peace, the United Nations has chosen the theme: Shaping peace together. For this year 2020, the African Union is urging Africa to silence the guns on the continent. It is an excellent opportunity for us, women and girls of Burundi, mobilized for peace, security and development for all, to address you our sincere wishes of peace, security, harmonious life, unity and cohesion for a better future of our countries, our continent and the whole world. May the Peace Bell ring today in all our countries and may our communities seize the sound and turn to peace, may the guns be silenced and security reign all over.
In the name of all my sisters fighting for peace and security in Burundi, I have the honor to inform you that we have decided to change the name of our organization from the Mouvement de Femmes et Filles pour la Paix et la Sécurité au Burundi (Women and Girls Movement for peace and security in Burundi) (MFFPS) to “Mouvement INAMAHORO, Femmes et Filles pour la Paix et la Sécurité” (i.e. INAMAHORO Movement, Women and Girls for Peace and Security). We are still the same Burundian patriotic women and girls, passionate and firmly committed to peace, security and sustainable development in our dear homeland, Burundi.
A disagreement that occurred within our MFFPS Movement unfortunately caused a regrettable split which resulted into two MFFPS. This created a particularly painful experience for all the members, our beneficiaries, our partners, our friends and all those we interact with on a daily basis. The fact that the same name was designating two organizations was confusing and it was no longer possible to make distinction between the two.
In addition, the dynamics and the new challenges that surround the current situation in Burundi dictated an adjustment to adequately respond to emerging needs. Women and girls must continue to stand up and be committed to building a better Burundi.
The name "INAMAHORO", which means “women builders of peace”, therefore responds to this double concern.
As the “INAMAHORO Movement”, we are not breaking with our history and achievements. On the contrary, we remain anchored in the vision, the mission and the objectives we committed to, as women and girls united and mobilized for peace and security in Burundi. We are more than ever committed to raising our voices so that women and girls are never again forgotten victims or ignored actors in Burundi and in our region.
We will always collaborate with all those who want and seek peace, security, strict respect for human rights, justice and rule of law in Burundi.
To you, our sisters who left, carrying the name MFFPS, we wish you all the best. The field of promotion and protection of women’s rights is vast in Burundi, and actors are still few. Let us forget our differences and get to work, time is running out. Let us amplify the voice of our sisters and, together, strengthen the contribution of women in building the Burundi we want.
We would like to thank all our brothers and sisters, our partners and our friends for constantly staying by our side. Thank you for the trust you have shown us and all the support and comfort you have given us when we needed it most.
Peace to you all!
Done on this 21st September 2020
Mouvement INAMAHORO Femmes et Filles pour la paix et la sécurité
Marie Louise Baricako