Arusha Agreement should still inspire politicians after 17 years!

The assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye in 1993 was followed by a decade of civil war.  Negotiations that were opened resulted in the signature of the Arusha Agreement on 28 August 2000. Politicians say the latter should also contribute to the resolution of the current crisis.

The Arusha Agreement was signed on 28 August 2000 thanks to Nelson Mandela’s determination

The Arusha Agreement was signed on 28 August 2000 thanks to Nelson Mandela’s determination

The signing of the Arusha Agreement on 28 August 2000 brought to an end an ethnic conflict that was at the origin of divisions between Burundian politicians, says Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, former Burundi President and one of the signatories of the agreement. The parties in conflict acknowledged the need for an agreement that would be accompanied by the cessation of hostilities and long  lasting peace in Burundi.

“The Arusha Agreement is now creating a new image for the country. With the Arusha spirit, all stakeholders in the Burundi crisis must be involved in the inclusive dialogue to handle any issue”, says Ntibantunganya.
The former president encourages the government and the ruling party to be involved in an inclusive dialogue.

For the former president, the Arusha Agreement should also inspire the regional facilitation in the inter-Burundian dialogue as Facilitator William Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian president, attended the Arusha sessions. “He knows very well Burundi as well as the challenges it is faced with.  He should refer to the Arusha Agreement to put an end to the crisis. Burundians really want to live in peace”, he says.

For Abel Gashatsi, Chairperson of Uprona party which is officially recognized by the government, says his party will always support and work in favor of the Arusha Agreement. He, however, says the ongoing dialogue is different from the previous negotiations.  “At that time, there were confrontations between armed groups but now, the country is calm.  The dialogue should be organized to prepare the forthcoming elections”, says Gashatsi.