Civil Society leaders concerned over their security in Entebbe forthcoming meeting

The office of the facilitator of the Inter-Burundian dialogue intends to invite the civil society leaders in exile from 24 to 25 May in Entebbe, Uganda.  However, the invitation to the meeting offers no insurance with regard to their participation.

Some of the civil society leaders are wanted by the Burundian justice

Some of the civil society leaders are wanted by the Burundian justice

“Acknowledge that neither the office of the facilitator of the Inter-Burundian dialogue, the United Nations, nor the African Union, the EAC, any subsidiary organizations, agency, fund or program of these organizations provide any insurance with regard to the participation”, reads the invitation that participants might sign before the attending the meeting.

Vital Nshimirimana, Chairperson of the Forum for the Strengthening of the Civil Society (FORSC) and one of the leaders of the “Halt to the third term” movement,  says civil society leaders in exile have received the invitation to meet Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the mediator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue, in Entebbe-Uganda.  “The same invitation also excludes us from the meeting as it states clearly that it provides no insurance regarding our participation”, says Nshimirimana.

The chairman of FORSC says the office of the facilitator suggests them to be represented by other people who are not wanted. “The facilitation team is unaware that these so-called arrest warrants were actually issued by a party to the conflict; the government “, says Nshimirimana.

He also says the concerned civil society organizations have addressed a correspondence to the facilitator requesting him remove all their worries and be more specific about the issue. “We call on the International community to follow closely the case and intervene to put an end to the crisis that has hit the country since the past two years”, he says.

Some leaders of the civil society organizations had participated in the dialogue session in December 2015 in Entebbe-Uganda and Arusha- Tanzania in 2016 and some of them are wanted following the demonstrations staged against the third term of the current Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza in April 2015.