Burundi: Politicians diverge on resumption of inclusive dialogue

On May 24, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Burundi, Michel Kafando, called on Burundians to continue the inclusive dialogue after the disputed referendum to find lasting solutions to the current crisis. Some politicians think elections should be the priority instead.

Michel Kafando: Burundi government has to resume dialogue with the opposition

Michel Kafando: Burundi government has to resume dialogue with the opposition

Abel Gashatsi, UPRONA party Chairman, says the countries that make up the Security Council should instead encourage Burundians to prepare the 2020 elections. “They must understand and recognize that Burundi is a sovereign country. Burundians themselves are responsible for their own fate”.

Gashatsi says the referendum is a project that was agreed between Burundians. “The proof is that the campaign and referendum elections went well”.

He says the powerful countries do not have the same views about the situation that prevails in Burundi. “This shows that even the reports given to these countries are interpreted differently”.

Mr. Gashatsi says if Burundians are still willing to dialogue, UPRONA is still interested. “UPRONA is a party of dialogue and the country has always been characterized by dialogue”.

Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party, says there is misunderstanding between the powerful countries. “We have found that whenever countries like the United States, France, and England take a position on the case of Burundi, China and Russia say the opposite”.

Ngendakumana says this is due to the fact that Russia is exploiting gold in Burundi. “Russia cannot accept that political crisis and insecurity reign in Burundi while it is exploiting the country’s natural resources”.

He also indicates that those countries which say Burundi is peaceful have their own interests. “They know very well that insecurity reigns in the country and reject the different resolutions made by the United Nations Council on Burundi”.

He calls on all those who opposed the Burundian peace talks to be more responsible and focus on the interests of Burundians.

Several members of the Security Council expressed concern that, more than six months after the last session of the EAC-led inter-Burundian dialogue, the negotiations have not made any significant progress.

Different delegations present in the meeting of the UN Security Council called for the resumption of dialogue stressing the spirit of the Arusha Peace Agreement, under the facilitation of former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and the mediation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.