EAC integration

EAC Heads of State seem to neglect Burundi crisis, politicians say

The EAC Heads of State met on 20 May, in Dar-Es-Salaam-Tanzania, in the 18th ordinary summit. Burundi politicians differ over the outcomes of the summit.

The 18thEAC Heads of State focused on the region’s sustainable development

The 18thEAC Heads of State focused on the region’s sustainable development

“The outcomes of the 18th EAC Heads of state are somehow a satisfaction and disappointment”, says Tatien Sibomana, a politician from Uprona party. He says Burundi President received a progress report produced by the facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue and thanked him for his commitment to the dialogue. “The Summit fully endorsed the assessment and adopted the report. But we are still wondering about the content of the report”, says Sibomana.

He, however, says the EAC Heads of State failed to convince Burundi President and his ruling party to be involved in the inclusive dialogue. “Burundi crisis will not end if both stakeholders do not participate in the dialogue sessions”, says Sibomana.

Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party says the Facilitator did a great job to hand over the report to the EAC Heads of State as the summit focused on the issues of the region as a whole. “Burundi issue was discussed among other subjects. Nothing important could come out of the summit, EAC Heads of State were tired”, he says.

Keffa Nibizi, Chairman of Sahwanya Frodebu “Iragi rya Ndadaye” party welcomed the conclusions drawn from the EAC Heads of state summit pleading for the removal of EU sanctions against Burundi. However, Nibizi regrets that the 18th EAC Summit did not discuss the conflict existing between Burundi and Rwanda. “We want all misunderstandings between Rwanda and Burundi to end but sanctions would be imposed on Rwanda for undermining security in Burundi”, says Keffa.
Alain Diomède Nzeyimana, Deputy Spokesperson for Burundi President, says the summit did not focus much on the dialogue progress in Burundi. “They have received and accepted the report from the Facilitator”, says Nzeyimana. As for the outcomes of the 18th summit of EAC Heads of State, Nzeyimana says it is clear that the East African Community supports Burundi.

On 14 May, the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Mediator in Burundi conflict, declared that he would highlight the Burundian issue in the 18th EAC Heads of state summit scheduled on 20 May 2017.

The Ugandan president told New Vision, the Ugandan newspaper that he would raise the Burundian issue to finally come to a decision when he took the chair in the 18th summit of EAC Heads of State. “We should never neglect any opportunity for dialogue”, he said.

During the summit, Museveni focused on the EU sanctions on Burundi: “Burundi is our member and no action should be taken against it without our input. Our house is our house”, he said.