Burundi: Politicians converge on respect of Arusha Agreement spirit after 18 years

Abel Gashatsi, chairman of Uprona party says the signing of the Arusha Agreement on 28 August 2000 has allowed the achievement of stability of peace and security for more than 15 years in Burundi. He also says, so far, the Arusha Agreement is still considered in the establishment of state institutions and always serves as a guideline for political authorities. “Even the new Constitution of 7 June results from the Arusha Agreement”, he says.

The Arusha Agreement was signed on 28 August 2000

The Arusha Agreement was signed on 28 August 2000

As for Léonard Nyangoma, Chairman of the National Council for Defense of Democracy-CNDD, the spirit of the Arusha Agreement has always been respected despite some violations. “Some want to bury it while others are fight for its restoration”, says Nyangoma who is among people who signed the Arusha Agreement on 28 August 2000.

He also says the fundamental texts which are the guarantors of this agreement have been violated. “But, in any case, we will restore them even though they are not eternal. They were made after a long consensus”, he says.

On 7 June when President Pierre Nkurunziza promulgated the new Constitution in Bugendana Commune, he said Burundi government under his presidency played a vital role to implement the recommendations of the Arusha Agreement when others had failed. “We are happy because, from 2000 up to 2018, the Arusha agreement has been more useful than the first years just after its signing”, he said.

He also said the Arusha Agreement has also helped Burundi government to establish the new Constitution. “All the key elements included in the Arusha Agreement have also been kept in the new Constitution expect the new elements related to justice. In addition, all institutions put in place respect the Arusha Agreement and 2005 Constitution”, he said.

On 22 August, in the UN Security Council statement, the members underlined the utmost importance of respecting the letter and the spirit of the Arusha Agreement, which has helped to sustain a decade of peace in Burundi. They also expressed concern that the situation prevailing in Burundi has undermined the significant gains achieved through the Arusha Agreement, with serious consequences for Burundi and the region.

They urged the guarantors of the Agreement to meet their obligations in this regard, to ensure that the entirety of the Agreement is adhered to. The members of the Security Council called upon the United Nations, the AU, the EAC, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the guarantors of the Arusha Agreement to coordinate their efforts of assisting Burundian stakeholders to settle outstanding issues in the implementation of the Arusha Agreement.

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