News from our Dominican friars in Bujumbura, Burundi


Dear friends,

I guess you are worried about us considering the current situation in Burundi. In fact the whole situation is reported by the media everywhere and at every hour.

For our community, it all started yesterday {Wednesday 13 May } around 1:10 pm (13:10) after lunch. While demonstrations against the third term of the current president were in their third week, an army general said he had dismissed the president and his government. After this statement, protesters shouted with joy, sang songs of victory and thanked the military for having freed them.

But that did not last long and then, fearing the return of the president, the military announced they had decided to close the borders and Bujumbura airport. The city was quiet until about 2:00 am. We heard the sound of gunfire which continued until about 8:00 am. In this situation, I was able to go and celebrate the Eucharist with the Sisters of Calcutta.

But until 1 pm (13.00h) the city was calm and deserted {today, Thursday 14 May}. From 1.00pm to 3:40 pm, there were fighting around the National Radio and TV Stations. We have just celebrated the Mass of the Ascension without any faithful from outside. Shops and banks remained closed throughout the day and even the market.

All the brothers are okay in the community, fr Emmanuel Ntakarutimana is in Tanzania while frs Nepo and Benjamin are in Kigali. Each day ends with uncertainties since local private radio stations are not broadcasting any more. So I ask you to continue to pray for Burundi.

Sixbert Hategekimana, OP
(18 May 2015)