EU for inclusive dialogue to end Burundi crisis

Wolfram Vetter: “All stakeholders must demonstrate their willingness to participate in the dialogue without any precondition”.

Wolfram Vetter: “All stakeholders must demonstrate their willingness to participate in the dialogue without any precondition”.

“Let us be clear, the situation in Burundi has not yet normalized since the 2015 events,” says Wolfram Vetter, EU Ambassador to Burundi, on the celebration of the Europe Day, on 9 May.

He says peace is still fragile and superficial in Burundi. “Cases of human rights violations, torture and disappearances continue to be reported. The political and media space is extremely restricted,” Vetter says.

The EU Ambassador says inclusive dialogue sessions under the Ugandan President mediation and his facilitator former Tanzanian President are essential for the restoration of peace in Burundi and thus should be supported. “The dialogue process must be fully supported and it is important that all stakeholders without exception demonstrate their willingness to participate without any precondition”, says Vetter.

For him, the dialogue must lead to a roadmap for a way out of the crisis. In addition, the EU supports the eight-point agenda that has been identified and agreed upon by the participants in the dialogue.

Regarding the commitments expected from the government over the EU decision on Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, the EU Ambassador says they are quite consistent with the eight points of EAC facilitation. “The progress will allow the EU to gradually relaunch direct cooperation with the government of Burundi”, he says.

On behalf of Burundi Government, Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, the Minister of Foreign Affairs recognizes that peace and security prevail throughout the national territory. “The evidence is that the EU delegation conducts field visits to assess the implementation of their projects. So, the daily activities carried out in the country are the result of a normalized situation”, he says.

As for the dialogue, Nyamitwe says the process is ongoing. “The National Commission for the Inter-Burundian Dialogue-CNDI has completed its activities to collect the opinions of the population”, says Nyamitwe. He, however, says the government encourages all stakeholders in the inter-Burundian dialogue but adds that the latter should be held according to acceptable standards and conditions.

The celebration of the Europe Day coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Rome Statute which created the European Economic Community and the 40th anniversary of the cooperation between Burundi and the EU.