AU must urge EAC to help end Burundi crisis, former Burundi president says

The AU Heads of State and Government are meeting for two days in the 28th ordinary session of the assembly from 30th to 31st January in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. Burundi opposition calls on the attendees to urge the EAC Heads of state to find solutions to the Burundi crisis.

A 28th ordinary session of the assembly of the AU Heads of state is being held in Addis-Ababa for two days

A 28th ordinary session of the assembly of the AU Heads of state is being held in Addis-Ababa for two days

« We expect nothing from the 28th ordinary session of the assembly of the AU Heads of state and government to end the Burundi crisis », says Jérémie Minani, Spokesperson for the National Council for the restoration of the Arusha Agreement and the Rule of Law- CNARED.

Minani says Burundians will overcome the crisis if all stakeholders in the crisis engage in an inclusive dialogue.
CNARED spokesperson says the EAC should be inspired by what happened in the Gambia. “As the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) did for the outgoing president of the Gambia, the EAC must take the Burundi issue in hand,” he says.

In the communiqué of the third meeting issued on 28 January, guarantors of the PSC framework for the DRC and the region say they have taken note of the recent development regarding the situation in Burundi and have reiterated their full support to the East African Community (EAC) facilitation led by former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa.

They called upon all parties to desist from violence and respect the human and civil rights of all Burundians, and collaborate with the EAC Facilitator to accelerate the conclusion of the dialogue process.

In a correspondence addressed to the mediator on 12 December, CNARED-GIRITEKA said it no longer recognized Mkapa as a facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue process.

“Mkapa has supported the violation of the Burundi Constitution and the Arusha Peace Agreement by Pierre Nkurunziza.

He has already shown his partiality. We really need a neutral and confident facilitator and we still recognize Uganda President as the mediator”, says Minani.

“AU Heads of state have shown negative solidarity”

Domitien Ndayizeye, Senator and former Burundian President, says African presidents have the habit to support each other even when they are wrong. “Several African Heads of state have gone beyond the third term. It will not be possible to find solutions to the Burundi crisis while the latter is based on the third term of President Nkurunziza”, he says.

The former president calls on all countries supporting Burundi to request all stakeholders in the crisis to sit together and find lasting solutions to the crisis. “We are currently facing several challenges such as hunger, the rise in the number of refugees, the reduction of financial aid to the Government… The AU must give instructions to the EAC Heads of state to help Burundi regain stability”, he says.

Gaston Sindimwo, first vice president, has represented Burundi in the 28th ordinary session under the theme of “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”.

The Heads of State and Government during their two –day sessions will also elect the chairperson of the African Union Commission and his/her deputy. Alpha Condé, Guinean President has already been appointed this 30 January to replace Idris Deby Itno, the Chadian President, at the head of the AU and the Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat just elected chairperson of African Union Commission to replace Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

Burundi has three candidates. Epiphanie Ntamwana-Kabushemeye, Advisor to Burundi Minister of Foreign Affairs at the post of Commissioner for Peace and Security and Saidi Kibeya, the former Education Minister and Sabine Ntakarutimana, former Public Health minister for the posts of Commissioners for social Affairs and sciences of the AU respectively.