The government of Burundi says it’s ready for dialogue with the opposition leaders to resolve the conflict that has led to the death of hundreds of people since it broke out in April last year.
Widespread protests broke out in Burundi against president Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for another term in office which the opposition and some civil society organizations claimed was illegal.
Addressing a news conference in Kamapala this afternoon, The Burundian Ambassador to Uganda Jean Bosco Barege said they appreciate concerns from African Union, UN and EAC but the situation in Burundi does not warrant deployment of a peace keeping force.
“We are very concerned. The government of Burundi is ready to sit and resolve this so that the people of Burundi can live in peace and harmony”, H.E Barege told journalists in Kampala.
He said what is required is support to initiate and facilitate dialogue with the opposition to ensure peace is restored.
Earlier, the East African Community Heads of State Summit was asked to affirm that the community has a duty of care and responsibility to protect the people of Burundi from violence and to guarantee their safety and security.
This was after the regional parliament adopted a report on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in Burundi on Friday last week.
The report followed the recent Public Hearing workshop which delved into the Petition presented to the EALA Speaker by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) and other regional Civil Society Organistions on the subject matter in November 2015.
On January 14-15, 2016, the Committee received the oral presentation from the petitioners as well as the contributions from representatives of the opposition Political Parties and civil Society Organisations. On January 25th, 2016, a high powered delegation from the Government of Burundi, also came to Arusha to make their submissions before the Committee retreated to make its report.
The stakeholders who spoke on 15th January 2016 broadly agreed with the petition, elaborated arguments asserting that the crisis in Burundi was a political problem.
They further clarified how the situation had mutated into an ethnic problem, citing parallels with the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Most presenters according to the Report gave a gruesome picture of the nature of the crimes and human rights abuses including details on refugees and internal displacements, arrests and detentions.
East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members; Hon.Abubakar Zein, Hon. Hafsa Mossi and Hon. Mumbi Ngaru now say action must be taken after the report showed that there are sufficient grounds showing gross human rights violations have taken place and continue in Burundi unabated.
Story By Catherine Ageno