The 13th extra ordinary summit of the EAC Heads of State held in Dar es Salaam Tanzania Wednesday resolved that Burundi June elections be deferred until the situation has normalised.
Held under the theme: “one people, one destiny”, the summit consulted on the situation in Burundi and at the time they were consulting, there were new developments in Burundi.
The summit condemned the coup in Burundi carried out by army Gen Godefroid Niyombare and called for the return to constitutional order.
“Given the situation in Burundi, conditions are not conducive for elections in Burundi and the summit calls upon the authorities to posptone the elections for a period not beyond the mandate of the current government,” said EAC chairman, Jakaya Kikwete in a statement.
Kikwete, also the Tanzania President said that as the region continues to consult with all stakeholders to make sure that the situation in Burundi normalises and elections can be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner in respect of the constitution of Burundi, the laws of Burundi and the Arusha peace and reconciliation agreement; the summit condemns violence and calls on all parties to make sure that violence stops.
“The region will not accept nor standby if violence does not stop or escalates in Burundi,” he warned adding that the summit will reconvene soon to review the situation in Burundi.
The summit was of the view that a coup does not solve Burundi problems.
Meanwhile, the White House statement on Burundi reads: “We call on all sides to lay down arms, end the violence and show restraint”.
African Union Peace and Security Council chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini, who also attended the Arusha summit was the first to call for the postponement of Burundi elections.
President Pierre Nkurunziza who defied AU, US, UN and EAC chairman and pushed for a third term, is currently hiding in Tanzania where he was attending the summit when his seat was usurped.