Uganda hosts talks to end Burundi crisis

December 29, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

By

Gloria Nakiyimba

Talks aimed at ending the Burundi crisis started on Monday in Uganda.

The talks, under the auspices of Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, are taking place at State House, Entebbe.

Burundi’s minister of External Relations and International Cooperation Alain Aime Nyamitwe is leading a delegation from the Government of Burundi at the talks.

Other participants at the relaunched negotiations include the main opposition leaders, religious leaders, civil society organizations and women associations among others.

According to a statement issued by Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga, Uganda’s Minister of Defence and also Facilitator of the Burundi Dialogue, the Meeting was attended by African Union Special Representative for the Chair of the Commission, Prof. Ibrahima Fall, Mr Koen Vervaeke Euronpean Union Special Envoy, Mr Thomas Perrielo the US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mr Jamal Benomor Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Burundi and Prof. Ntumba Luaba, the ICGLR Executive Secretary.

Ambassadors and High commissioners representing member states on the UN Security Council were also in attendance. They included the British High commissioner, China’s Ambassador to Uganda, Russian ambassador, France’s Ambassador and the US embassy Charge d’Affaires in Kampala.

Uganda’s state minister for foreign affairs has been quoted in Uganda’s New Vision Newspaper that the main goal for Monday’s talks was to stop the killings in Burundi.

Burundi descended into anarchy in April after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in 2015, sparking protests from people who were opposed to the third term project.

The situation degenerated in May this year following a failed coup led by Major General Godefroid Niyombare while President Nkurunziza was in Tanzania attending another meeting.

 

Burundi parties asked to find a solution to end crisis

During the meeting Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni appealed to both the Government and warring parties to sit down and find a political solution to the crisis in Burundi.

“I really appeal to you, the two sides to sit down and have a political solution so that you save our people from that suffering which they are going through now and also killing their opportunities, because that confusion will not allow investments to come in”  he said.

Speaking at the opening of the Burundi peace talks at State House Entebbe, President Museveni cautioned the protagonists against managing the politics of the country.

“When you mismanage the politics so badly and don’t think about anything else except political power, then you are an enemy of your country, your future, of your people. You are fighting for political posts but you are killing the base of the economy and the base of the government. So Africans must stop being clowns” he said.

The chief mediator also warned that extra judicial killings will not be tolerated in Burundi, adding that Uganda will privately send a team to Burundi to investigate alleged reports that security forces in Burundi killed dozens of people extrajudicially in December.

The president explained the late entry into the crisis, saying he did not want to interfere with the internal affairs of Burundi.

“We came in late; we didn’t want to interfere with the internal affairs of Burundi, because I don’t entertain inferring in Uganda’s internal affairs” he said.

Mr Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Burundi, said only a genuine and inclusive dialogue can enable Burundian stake holders to find a consensual solution to the crisis facing their country.

“ The security council resolution 2248 has called for an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue involving all concerned and peaceful stake holders, both those who are in Burundi and those outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis” Mr Benomor said.

He noted that Burundians are the ones who will live with the consequences of the decisions they make adding that they have the prime responsibility for finding a way forward for the future of their country.

“This must be a nationally led and owned effort which we as the international community stand ready to support” he opined.

He lauded President Museveni for his leadership and his tireless efforts to promote peace and security on the continent including peace in Burundi.

 “We would like to see an immediate stop to violence. I sincerely hope that today’s event will mark the beginning of the path towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous Burundi” he said.

He pledged the UN Security Council full support to the talks under the auspices of the President of Uganda.

EU Special Envoy Mr Koen Vervaeke said they were concerned by the ongoing displacement of people as a result of the fighting adding that they would like to see an immediate end to the crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gloria Nakiyimba

Gloria has experience spanning more than five years in Journalism, particularly in field reporting, editing, newscasting and management. She is currently working with Capital Radio Limited [91.3 Capital FM and 96.3 Beat FM] as Head of News, a position she has held since 2010.

Gloria previously worked as the Kampala Correspondent for Radio France International [RFI] generating local story leads with international inference for RFI’s global audience. She also served as Political Editor for The Weekly Mail Newspaper as well as Online Content Editor for the California based Ugandan broadcaster KubutakaRadio.com.

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