Arusha: An agreement to be signed at end of talks session

As Arusha is hosting the 4th Inter-Burundian Dialogue Session since Monday 27 November, the facilitator in the Burundian conflict, William Benjamin Mkapa announced the program in the evening of the same day.

The 4th round of the inter-Burundian dialogue taking place in Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge in Arusha, TanzaniaIt is expected that at the end of this round, participants will reach an agreement signed in the presence of the East African Community Heads of State, according to Facilitator Mkapa. This will be the result of two- week work where participants have to work in groups and discuss in plenary sessions.

According to the aspirations of the mediation, this dialogue session is the last one.

The facilitator also announced eight points on the agenda during this 4th round. These are the discussions about the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, the end of impunity and the strengthening of democracy in Burundi.

One point that provokes heated debate is the establishment of a national unity government, according to Iwacu Special Envoy to Arusha. The current government in Burundi cannot accept it.

Its rhetoric has always been that the institutions in place came from the will of the people. “The power is acquired through ballot box and no question therefore of undermining democracy.”

In any case, with such an elaborate program, the facilitation hopes to achieve a political consensus.

Burundi has plunged into a crisis since April 2015, when the ruling party officially announced President Nkurunziza’s candidacy for the 2015 elections that he won in July 2015. Political opponents and some members of civil society opposed his candidacy which they refer to as illegal and unconstitutional. They accuse President Nkurunziza of violating the Burundian Constitution and the Arusha Peace Agreement signed in 2000 to end a civil war that erupted in 1993.