The eyes of the world are on Burundi. The steps necessary for a peaceful and prosperous democratic future for Burundi should be taken now. Reports of intimidation against members of the Constitutional Court do not give the impression of an independent court that was able to come to an impartial decision. This is not in the best interests of Burundi or its people.
We urge those engaged in political dialogue to recall the Arusha Agreement’s principles of good governance, rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. We welcome the role of the United Nations, in particular the Secretary General’s Special Envoy Said Djinnit, and the East African Community, especially Tanzania as the current chair. We urge calm while this dialogue is under way.
Enabling the responsible exercise of freedom of expression, and accountability for violence, should be core principles for political dialogue. A clear public commitment to disarming political youth groups, including the imbonerakure, is vital. The Burundian Government is responsible for the security of all citizens. We therefore urge the government to create a situation where those who have fled Burundi in recent weeks can return without fear.