Team of international Envoys expresses the urgency for an unconditional and inclusive dialogue to end the crisis in Burundi
The Team of United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) European Union (EU), United States (US) Envoys for the Great Lakes region of Africa visited Kampala, Uganda, as first stop of their regional tour.
In Kampala, the Envoys met key interlocutors, including His Excellency Vice President of Uganda Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi; the Minister of Defence, Honorable Crispus Kiyonga; and the State Minister for Regional Cooperation in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Philemon Mateke and discussed a range of issues pertaining to the strengthening of peace and security in the Great Lakes. The discussions focused on the deteriorating security, human rights and humanitarian conditions in Burundi and the urgent need to launch the East African Community (EAC)-led mediation for an inclusive dialogue; the neutralization of illegal armed groups operating in the eastern DRC, especially the resurgence of deadly attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in Beni and the repatriation of the remaining former M23 combatants from Uganda.
Regarding the situation in Burundi, the Envoys stressed that the status quo will only lead to further loss of innocent lives and called for unconditional and inclusive dialogue. They expressed support for the Mediator, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to launch the dialogue as soon as possible.
After Uganda, the Envoys will travel to Kinshasa and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to discuss the upcoming presidential elections, the persistence of armed groups in Eastern DRC and the resumption of joint operations between MONUSCO and the FARDC.
The Team of International Envoys is composed of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit who was represented by Assistant Secretary-General Modibo Touré, Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for the DRC and Head of MONUSCO Maman Sambo Sidikou, the African Union Special Representative, Prof. Ibrahima Fall represented by Senior Political Affairs Officer Kassimi Bamba, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, Thomas Perriello and the European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes Region, Koen Vervaeke.