East Africa

 Kikwete, Museveni draw plan to end Burundi crisis


President Museveni with President Kikwete in New York


Tanzania President, Jakaya Kikwete, has dispatched a team to Burundi in a move to investigate the political instability currently ongoing in the east African nation.

Kikwete who is the Chair of the East African Heads of State, has assigned four foreign ministers from member states to study the Burundi crisis.

Kikwete who recently visited Bujumbura, advised President Pierre Nkurunziza to respect the constitution and desist from seeking a third term.

However, a week back, the ruling party CNDD-FDD nominated Nkurunziza as their candidate in the June elections.

Protests then broke out in the capital and raged for two weeks now.

Yesterday, the Constitutional Court validated Nkurunziza’s third term bid worsening the situation.

Kikwete meets Museveni over Burundi

President Yoweri Museveni received and held a bilateral meeting with Kikwete at the Presidents residency in New York on the sidelines of the UN High Level Thematic Debate on UN cooperation with Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations this week.

The two discussed regional matters dwelling extensively on the Burundi crisis.

Kikwete pointed out that the solution to the political situation in Burundi resolves on the citizens’ decision to uphold their national constitution.

We are told the two leaders drew a plan to resolve the crisis which would include sending regional foreign ministers to study the situation and make a report.

The EAC Heads of State will then meet on May 13 in Dar es Salaam, study the report and act upon it.

After meeting Museveni, Kikwete also met the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Kimoon.

Today, Kikwete sent foreign ministers from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to Burundi to ensure that they meet all key parties in the conflict and complete a report.

“If there are people in Burundi who believe that the decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek re-election is against the country’s constitution, then they should forward their complaints to the law organs so that the rules and regulations can take their course and the truth known instead of inciting chaos,” Kikwete is quoted by The Citizen Tanzania telling ministers.

The report will also include recommendations on how best the matter can be solved.

The team will do the assignment this week to allow EAC leaders ample time to meet over the crisis.

Panicky Nkurunziza meets opposition

We have also learnt that Nkurunziza’s government has already met the opposition to defuse tensions that are still ongoing.

There are fears that the crisis will mar the elections and that foreign funding may also be cut.

Government reportedly agreed to talk with some partners in civil society and the opposition to find a solution.

On Monday, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, speaking from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, said he was concerned about Nkurunziza’s decision to stand again, which he said flies directly in the face of the constitution.

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