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TWR National Partner Teams Up to Produce Radio and TV Program

As political clashes fragment Burundi, TWR has united with other ministries to air television and radio broadcasts urging reconciliation and peace.   

The 30-minute episodes have begun airing three times a week each on TV and on radio. They are aimed at youths on both sides of the dangerous conflict over the incumbent president’s decision to seek a third term in June elections, but also at some church leaders who have gotten caught up in the turmoil.

“Everyone has taken part in this unrest,” said Rachel Muhorakeye, national director of TWR (also known as Trans World Radio) Burundi. “Some church leaders have taken sides and given declarations on TV and radio. It [opposition to the president] has been overpraised by some and criticized by others. We want to show them that it is their right to do so, but they have to remember their role of shepherdhood.”

TWR Burundi is working alongside Great Lakes Outreach, Harvest for Christ Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ, the Burundi Bible Society, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries, Scripture Union and Partners Trust International to produce and broadcast the reconciliation programs.   

The primary message directed to the many young people involved in the protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza – who, coincidentally, describes himself as a born-again Christian – emphasizes respect for human rights. The reconciliation TV and radio programs teach that citizens have a right to demonstrate against political developments they believe to be wrong, but they do not have the right to take away the rights of others through violence or destruction of property, Muhorakeye said.    

The Burundi unrest, which has resulted in an unsuccessful coup attempt and roughly 30 deaths, has attracted the attention of the East African Community and other international groups seeking to defuse the situation. Intercessors inside and outside the country are anxious to prevent the unrest from erupting into the kind of interethnic violence that in the past has killed hundreds of thousands in Burundi and neighboring Rwanda.

“We trust God that people may be touched by our initiative,” Muhorakeye said.

Muhorakeye and Egide Bandyatuyaga, who is TWR’s director for East Africa and has an office in the same building as TWR Burundi in the capital city, Bujumbura, expressed deep gratitude for continued prayer and concern from TWR supporters and staff members worldwide. 

Photo: Production of the reconciliation TV program continues in TWR Burundi’s studio.