Arusha: Plenary session yet to start due to some suggestions to Facilitation

The session for this 4 December meant to bring together participants in the inter-Burundian dialogue in Arusha, Tanzania has not yet taken place. According to Iwacu Special Envoy, the Facilitation Office is busy compiling the documents from the five groups that were recently formed. They include the government and its allies, the opposition group, the group of civil society organizations- pro government, religious leaders and youths; the one composed of women and other civil society organizations-such as Parcem and Olucome and finally that of former presidents.

The session is taking place at Ngurdoto Hotel, at 30 km from Arusha downtown

The session is taking place at Ngurdoto Hotel, at 30 km from Arusha downtown

The assembled documents then will be translated into English and the facilitation office will point out points of convergence and divergence. Reports from Arusha also reveals that a dinner is prepared among the facilitator in Burundi peace talks, Benjamin Mkapa, the five leaders of the government and its allies, five opposition leaders and the two former Heads of State. The objective is to plan together the follow-up to the dialogue session.

Participants in the 4th session of the inter-Burundian peace talks have submitted suggestions with the focus on eight points that are being discussed during these two weeks. On the side of the opposition, seventeen signatories from political parties and political actors say the Arusha Agreement must be respected and the Constitution must not be amended. They say Burundi government must put an end to impunity and ensure the political climate and restore confidence among politicians. They also say the decisions of the EAC Summit of 6 July 2015 on the formation of a government of national unity must be implemented in Burundi.

As for Burundi government and its allies, 21 signatories of the proposals say they have to show their commitment to the respect of the Arusha agreement that allowed the social cohesion, unity and promoted democratic values. They say there is a need to recognize that there are no politicians prosecuted except the plotters of the 13 May 2015 coup already identified by Burundi justice.

In addition, the revision of the Constitution of a country must be done in the strict respect of sovereignty principles. “The revision of the current Constitution of the Republic of Burundi is more than necessary following the requirements of regional integration, the recommendations of the National Commission of Internal Dialogue (CNDI), the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and the 2013 Kayanza Road Map”, the document reads.

The 4th session of the Inter-Burundian dialogue started in Arusha on 27 November and will end on 8 December. Journalists are not allowed to follow closely the session.