Facilitation team in Burundi conflict to start negotiation by July

On Monday 3rd July, the spokesman for the facilitator in Burundi conflict said
the office of the facilitation team plans to start genuine negotiations between Burundi Government and its opposition before the end of July 2017.

William Mkapa, facilitator in Burundi conflict

William Mkapa, facilitator in Burundi conflict

MacochaTembele, Assistant to and spokesman for the facilitator in Burundi conflict, William Benjamin Mkapa, told VOA journalist that the real negotiations between Burundi Government and opposition will begin before the end of July.

On 12 December 2016, during his visit to Burundi, Mkapa said Burundians would sign a peace agreement before the end of June 2017.

According to Macocha Tembele, the facilitator’s office could not abide by the roadmap that the facilitator had set since both conflicting parties did not agree to negotiate. “If both sides had agreed to sit together to negotiate, the deadline fixed on June 2017 would have been met,” said Tembele.

According to him, during the consultation sessions organized by the facilitation, the Government of Burundi either didn’t attend them or refused that the representatives of the opposition be invited to the sessions. He said the facilitation encountered obstacles that hampered it to meet the set deadline. “The facilitator in the Burundi conflict, William Benjamin Mkapa continues the work assigned to him by the East African Community,” said Tembele.

Burundian authorities call on facilitation team to meet deadline set in June

On 28 June, Burundi minister of interior, Pascal Barandagiye called on the facilitator in the Burundi conflict to transmit the inter-Burundian dialogue report so that it should be implemented alongside the recommendations formulated by participants in the debate sessions organized by the National Commission for the Inter-Burundian Dialogue (CNDI).

After the meeting held on 21 June and chaired by Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza, the National Security Council released a statement in which it calls on the facilitation team in Burundi peace talks to bring back the dialogue and meet the deadline set in June.

Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa was appointed as the facilitator in Burundi peace talks by the East African Community (EAC), during the 17th Ordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State in Arusha, Tanzania on 2 March 2016. He was assigned to help Burundians resolve the political crisis that erupted after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a controversial third term, which he won in the protested elections of July 2015. The opposition accused him of violating the Constitution that only allows two terms in office as well as the Arusha agreement that put an end to a decade of civil war in Burundi.