Germany: “Constitutional referendum sabotages international community efforts to solve Burundi crisis”

“Burundians voted yesterday for a new Constitution. It would lead to a shift of power in favor of the ruling party. The incumbent Burundi president could remain in office until 2034, “reads a press release issued by the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany a day after the holding of the constitutional referendum.
Germany finds that the constitutional referendum sabotages efforts made by Burundi’s African neighbors, the African Union and the United Nations to reach a political solution to the Burundi conflict.

Federal Republic of Germany logo

Federal Republic of Germany logo

It is very concerned that some of the proposed amendments to the current Constitution contradict the provisions of the Arusha Peace Agreement signed in 2002, which ended the civil war through the introduction of quotas between Hutu and Tutsi and separation of powers.

According to the Federal Republic of Germany, this agreement was the foundation of the Constitution and focused on presidential term limit, consensus and national reconciliation. “The adoption of a new Constitution not based on the principle of inclusivity and consensus between all political forces and within society challenges it,” reads the communiqué.

Germany calls on the Burundian Government to respect and implement the Arusha Agreement as a guarantee of peace, democracy and stability in Burundi.

It regrets that since the beginning of the political crisis in April 2015, the climate in Burundi is dominated by serious human rights violation and the oppression of the political opposition. “More than 420,000 refugees have fled the country.”

It also calls on the government to engage in inclusive peace talks conducted by the East African Community and ensure that these talks lead to consensual results.