Facilitation office launches fifth round of talks without Burundi government

The office of the facilitation in the Inter-Burundian dialogue has opened the 5th round of Burundi talks on 25 October without the presence of Bujumbura delegation. Burundi government says it will not be concerned with what will result from the dialogue sessions.

William Mkapa proceeds to the launch of the 5th round of Burundi talks

William Mkapa proceeds to the launch of the 5th round of Burundi talks

William Benjamin Mkapa, facilitator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue has said his office has not yet received any formal notification from Burundi government stating that it will not attend the dialogue sessions. “I did everything I could to get a delegation from Bujumbura in vain,” says Benjamin Mkapa.

He also says when the invitations were sent to participants in the dialogue that was to be held from 19 to 24 October, Bujumbura requested that the dialogue be put off in order to begin on 24 October. “The request was accepted and the dialogue was scheduled to begin from 24 to 29 October,” says the facilitator adding that Burundi government also demanded that the dialogue be postponed to November 2018.

The facilitator in the Inter-Burundian dialogue says Burundi government has asked him to share beforehand the lists of participants and include the 2018 Kayanza roadmap on the agenda. “I could not accept this demand,” he says. Despite the absence of Bujumbura government, the office of the facilitation has decided to proceed with the dialogue.

William Benjamin Mkapa has proposed the participants to take note of Kayanza and Entebbe roadmaps, both signed in 2018. He, however, says the two roadmaps are not consensual. He requests them to work on their roadmap which will incorporate basic principles for holding credible elections in 2020. “I will develop the 2018 Kayanza and Entebbe roadmaps and a report will be submitted to the mediator and EAC so they should work on it,” he says hoping for fruitful discussions.

The facilitator expects that the roadmap that will result from the 5th round will be so reassuring to the international community and EAC that the elections will be free, fair and credible for the interests of Burundians and the region.

Prosper Ntahorwamiye, Spokesman for Burundi government, says Bujumbura has just received the correspondence from the Tanzania Foreign Affairs Ministry responding to the government requests.
“We requested the postponement of the dialogue because the October month is a mourning period.

Burundians remember the national heroes,” says Ntahorwamiye. He also says the government has asked the office to reveal the list of participants and include the Kayanza roadmap on the dialogue agenda in vain. “We are still waiting for a full response to our requests,” he says adding that Burundi government is not concerned with the outcome of the 5th dialogue session.