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Evariste Ndayishimiye, Burundi's elected President from the ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), attends the swearing-in ceremony at Ingoma stadium in Gitega, Burundi, on June 18, 2020. - Ndayishimiye rapidly sworn in following the sudden death of President Pierre Nkurunziza, aged 55, came after the May election.

Burundi Swears In New President, Evariste Ndayishimiye

Burundi's new leader was sworn in during a fast-tracked ceremony, following the sudden death of former president Pierre Nkurunziza.

Burundi's new president Evariste Ndayishimiye's has been sworn in two months early, following the death of former president Pierre Nkurunziza last week due to heart failure.

Ndayishimiye's was elected president in May, and is the country's first new Head of State in 15 years. Nkurunziza, who was accused of various human rights offenses during his time in office, was slated to step down in August. He had been in office since 2005. Both Ndayishimiye and his predecessor were former rebel leaders, and they were close colleagues.


Perhaps due to coronavirus restrictions, as well as the country's strained diplomatic ties, foreign heads of state were not present for the ceremony which took place on Thursday, reports BBC Africa. Reporters on the ground say that social distancing measures were not followed during the event.

In a speech delivered at the ceremony, the new leader promised to "devote all my force to defending the superior interests of the nation and ensure the national unity and cohesion of the Burundian people, peace and social justice."

Prior to becoming president, Ndayishimiye was the country's minister of the interior, later becoming the president's military adviser and then secretary-general of the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

Rights groups are hoping that Ndayishimiye will part with the ways of his predecessor. Estimates say that around 400,000 people fled the nation after Nkurunziza took on a highly-contested third term in 2015, which led to protests and a failed coup,

Burundian activists fought widespread political violence and censorship during his presidency, and organized through social media.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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