Burundi: Politicians’ opinions diverge on UN Security Council concerns over dialogue process

Léonce Ngendakumana, Deputy Chairman of Sahwanya FRODEBU party says the UN Security Council has always taken decisions and resolutions but their implementations have remained a challenge. “They always failed in their efforts to help Burundians overcome this lasting crisis”, he says.

Léonce Ngendakumana (right) and Jean De Dieu Mutabazi (Left)

Léonce Ngendakumana (right) and Jean De Dieu Mutabazi (Left)

In the statement issued on 22 August, members of the UN Security Council reiterated their deep concern over the slow progress of the inter-Burundian dialogue led by the East African Community (EAC), and the lack of engagement by the Government of Burundi in that regard. “We called for all Burundian stakeholders to participate actively and unconditionally in this process”, reads the statement.

They also stressed that it is crucial that all parties, most especially Burundi Government, commit to the EAC led process and reach an agreement well ahead of the 2020 elections. “The dialogue is the only viable process for a sustainable political settlement in Burundi”.

The members of the UN Security Council call on all relevant parties, including national, regional and international actors to actively support and engage constructively to ensure a successful new round of negotiations of the Inter-Burundian dialogue.

The members of the Security Council also reaffirmed its full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Burundi in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. They noted their expectation that elections scheduled for 2020 in Burundi will be free, fair, transparent, peaceful and fully inclusive with the participation of all political parties.

Léonce Ngendakumana doesn’t believe that the UN Security concerns will change anything considering the position of Burundi government. “I sometimes wonder why we shouldn’t handle the issues ourselves.”

As for Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, Chairman of RADEBU party, the members of the UN Security Council didn’t consider the improvements made in Burundi these last days. “The 17 May Constitutional amendment resulted from the Inter-Burundian dialogue,” he says.

Mutabazi also says political parties have just agreed on Kayanza road map leading to the 2020 elections. The chairman of RADEBU party calls on those who didn’t sign the road map to sign it and prepare for the 2020 elections.
“The National Assembly will establish, very soon, the Electoral Code and vote a bill governing the National Independent Electoral Commission for 2020 elections”, he says.