Consultations between the African Union Commission and Tanzania on the situation in Burundi

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, received the newly-appointed Foreign Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Augustine Mahiga, on 5 January 2016, in Durban, South Africa, to discuss the prevailing situation in Burundi. It should be recalled that Tanzania is the current Chair of the East African Community (EAC), the organization leading the ongoing efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the serious crisis facing Burundi.

The discussions took place against the backdrop of recent developments in the efforts to find a negotiated solution to the current crisis. In this respect, mention should be made of the decision adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), on 17 December 2015, authorizing the deployment of the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU), as well as of the ceremony organized in Entebbe, on 28 December 2015, under the chairmanship of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, EAC Mediator for Burundi, to mark the resumption of the inter-Burundian dialogue.

Both the Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania expressed deep concern at the political, security, and humanitarian situation prevailing in Burundi and at its consequences for regional security and stability. They stressed the imperative for renewed efforts to assist the Burundian stakeholders overcome the challenges confronting their country and preserve the important gains made since the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of August 2000. They agreed on the need to vigorously purse an all-inclusive dialogue among all stakeholders in Burundi, without excluding anyone, whilst at the same time ensuring an immediate end to all acts of violence and the protection of civilians and Government institutions.

The Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania welcomed the resumption of the inter-Burundian dialogue in Entebbe, and commended President Yoweri Museveni for his tireless efforts and commitment. They look forward to the continuation of the talks in Arusha, Tanzania, as planned by the Mediation, and to speedy progress on the contentious issues, so as to ensure the early resolution of the crisis. They highlighted the commitment of EAC Chair, the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region — ICGLR (Angola), the AU Commission and South Africa, in view of its longstanding involvement in the search for peace in Burundi, to extend to the Ugandan Mediation whatever assistance and support that may be needed for the successful and speedy conclusion of the dialogue.

The Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania, bearing in mind the imperative of ending all acts of violence and human rights violations, urged the Government of Burundi to fully cooperate with the AU towards the early deployment of MAPROBU. They underlined that MAPROBU has no other objective than to assist the Burundians overcome the challenges confronting them, in the spirit of continental solidarity and the search for African solutions to African problems, consistent with the relevant AU instruments.

The Chairperson of the Commission and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tanzania agreed that all African stakeholders should closely coordinate their efforts and speak with one voice, within the framework provided for by the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), in order to effectively assist the Burundians to move forward towards stability and peace.