Great Lakes Region

20th COMESA Heads of State Summit to be relocated for security reasons

After Sindiso N’gwenya, Secretary General of COMESA declared on May 18th that the 20th summit of COMESA Heads of State and government which was expected to take place in Burundi from 1 to 10 June 2018 will be postponed and relocated to Lusaka, the Secretary of and Spokesman for Burundi Government, Philippe Nzobonariba said Burundi government had not been officially notified of this decision.

Burundi continues preparing to host 20th COMESA summit

Burundi continues preparing to host 20th COMESA summit

He added that the government of Burundi continues to prepare to host that event arguing that some materials are being imported from outside the country.

However, a correspondence of the Burundian Minister of Foreigner Affairs, Ezéchiel Nibigira to Ministers of Foreign and External Relations of COMESA member countries, shows that Burundi had received on 15 May 2018 a correspondence from the COMESA Secretary General notifying of the postponement and relocation of the 20th COMESA summit following security reasons.

Burundi Minister of foreign affairs considered the COMESA Secretary’s measure as a lack of respect for a sovereign state.
He rejected the security reasons explained by the Secretary General of COMESA arguing that peace reigns throughout the national territory. “The incident, which the Secretary General provides as a pretext, is an attack conducted by Burundian terrorists at one kilometer distance from the border between Burundi and DRC,” reads the correspondence. He accuses the Secretary General of COMESA of continuing his plan to prevent the holding of this summit in Burundi. “The Secretary seems to be completing his mission of 20 July 2017 to prevent the holding of the 20th COMESA summit in Burundi,” according to Burundian Foreign Minister’s correspondence.