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Consultative Meeting to deliberate on the way forward on the Situation in Burundi

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, EAC, Regional and International Relations of the United Republic of Tanzania, also Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Hon. Ambassador Dr Augustine Mahiga, convened a Consultative Meeting in Arusha on 6th January 2016 to deliberate on the way forward on the situation in Burundi.

The meeting was attended by the Hon. Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Angola, also Chairperson of the Regional Inter-Ministerial Committee of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); Hon. Dr Crispus Kiyonga, Minister for Defence of the Republic of Uganda and representative of President Yoweri Museveni, the Facilitator of the Dialogue; Ambassador Dr Richard Sezibera, EAC Secretary-General; Mr Kassimi Bamba, from the African Union Office in Burundi and the Great Lakes region. Others in attendance were senior officials accompanying the esteemed leaders of delegation.

The consultative meeting was a follow up on the re-launch of the dialogue in Kampala by President Yoweri Museveni on 28th December 2015, in his capacity as Facilitator of the Burundi dialogue.

The meeting noted with appreciation and expressed support for the steps taken in particular by the EAC, the AU and the UN and the resultant Communiques and related pronouncements including by the EAC Emergency Summits of 13th May and 6th July 2015; by the AU Peace and Security Council on 17th October, 13th November and 17th December 2015; the United Nations Security Council’s Presidential Statement of 28th October 2015 and the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2248(2015) of 12th November 2015.

The meeting expressed concern on the continued political crisis in Burundi and its potential to degenerate further with far-reaching humanitarian implications; and in that regard, reiterated the need for the parties to embrace political dialogue as the only feasible way to end the crisis in Burundi.

The meeting expressed support for the facilitation efforts under President Yoweri Museveni and noted that the dialogue scheduled for 6th January 2016 did not take place due to ongoing consultations. The meeting committed to intensify consultations with the Burundi government and the opposition with a view to continue the Burundi political dialogue as soon as possible.

The meeting thanked Hon. Amb. Dr Augustine Mahiga for convening the Consultative meeting and expressed appreciation to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the EAC Secretary-General for the conducive environment that facilitated the deliberations.

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