Burundi: Opposition in exile calls for Inter-Burundian dialogue before referendum

Following the meeting held from 22 to 26 March in Belgium, the executive leaders of the opposition in exile-CNARED believe that stopping the referendum process and considering the supremacy of the Arusha Agreement should be prerequisites. “CNARED is willing to participate in the inter-Burundian dialogue sessions as a last chance before the referendum,”reads a statement issued on 28 March.

Members of CNARED in meeting

Members of CNARED in meeting

However, continues the statement the fundamental question raised by the participants in the meeting is what CNARED would negotiate after the unilateral referendum in prospect. “We will not participate in or endorse the elections which are not the outcome of an agreement negotiated between all parties”. For the CNARED, the agreement will have to indicate clearly the political and security conditions among others for free, fair and transparent elections.

CNARED condemns the referendum process and exhorts all Burundians to boycott it. Meanwhile, the internal opposition is going with the referendum process. The Independent coalition “Amizero y’Abarundi” and Sahwanya FRODEBU party have already registered this 28 March, to run the sensitization campaign for or against the constitutional amendment.

CNARED urges the regional and international community to impose sanctions including the stopping of the referendum process “which will bury the Arusha Agreement and establish the dictatorial regime in Burundi.”

President Pierre Nkurunziza has already called on Burundians to participate in the referendum due on 17 May 2018. Political parties will run the sensitization campaign 14 days before the referendum.

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