East African Heads of State under their umbrella body the EAC have called for the postponement of the elections in Burundi for a period not less than one and a half months and appealed to institutions in Burundi including parliament to facilitate this postponement.
In a joint communiqué issued at the end of an emergency summit on the Burundi situation held at State House in Dar es Salaam, their excellencies President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya, Hon. Alain Nyamitwe, Minister of External and International Cooperation representing the Republic of Burundi and Hon. Valentine Rugwabiza, Minister for East African Community, representing the Republic of Rwanda, the leaders also agreed that during the postponement, members led by the Chairperson will consult with stakeholders in Burundi on the way forward.
The summit called on all parties to stop the violence and exercise restraint during this period and for the urgent disarmament of all armed youth groups allied to political parties.
The leaders encouraged the government in Burundi to create a conducive environment for the return of refugees to Burundi and directed the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EAC partner states and the Republic of South Africa to urgently communicate these and other decisions to the government in Burundi.
The summit was also attended by South African President Jacob Zuma, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dlamini Zuma and the United Nations Secretary General’s Special envoy for the Great Lakes Region Saidi Djinnit among other officials
The leaders expressed sympathy with the people of Burundi following the violence that resulted in the death of many people, influx of refugees to neighbouring countries, destruction of property and paralyzing business in some parts of the country.
After the summit, the leaders were hosted to a luncheon by President Jakaya Kikwete.
Later, President Yoweri Museveni held a bilateral meeting with the host and Chairman of EAC President Jakaya Kikwete.
The President then left for the Kenya Capital, Nairobi to be part of celebrations to mark Madaraka day at the invitation of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
He was seen off at the Julius Nyerere International Airport by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania Hon. Bernard Membe.