Politics

Burundi never announced intention to boycott dialogue, says government secretary

“The government never declared that it intends to boycott the inter-Burundian dialogue since it takes the latter as a priority in the resolution of the problems that the country is facing,” reads the statement issued on 17 April.

Philippe Nzobonariba, Secretary General of Burundi Government: “The Arusha Agreement remains the pillar of the new constitution”

Philippe Nzobonariba, Secretary General of Burundi Government: “The Arusha Agreement remains the pillar of the new constitution”

The statement read by Philippe Nzobonariba, Secretary General of the government, comes as a reaction to the joint statement released by the African Union and the United Nations on 16 April.

Both organizations have expressed their concern over the decision by the Government of Burundi to suspend its participation in the Inter-Burundi Dialogue led by the former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

The two organizations urge the government to reconsider its position in order to ensure a lasting solution to the political crisis in Burundi. They say they are the guarantors of the Arusha Peace Agreement signed in 2005 arguing that only inclusive dialogue and consensus based on the respect of the Arusha Agreement will guarantee the lasting solution and peace. This statement was removed from the African Union official site the same day.

Nzobonariba indicates that the Government of Burundi and the facilitation team closely collaborate adding that the government maintains confidence in it. “Burundi government appreciates efforts that are being made by the facilitation office to find some common ground on issues that oppose politicians,” he says. He reassures the AU and the United Nations that the new Constitution that will soon be submitted to the referendum refers to the Arusha Agreement “which remains the pillar of the new constitution.”

He also announces the agenda of the upcoming constitutional referendum due to take place on 17 May 2018. “Government is willing and remains in touch with the facilitation office to discuss and set a consensual rendezvous that does not disrupt national activities already scheduled,” he says. The government calls on the international community to support the 2020 elections process in respect of national sovereignty.

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