13 November 2017

Burundi: CNARED Condemns Tanzanian and Ugandan Presidents' Position Over ICC Decision

Photo: IRIN / Phil Moore
Manifestations in Bujumbura (file photo).

CNARED, the opposition coalition in exile deplores the position of the Ugandan and Tanzanian presidents saying the latter have not a convincing argument. In a meeting held in Masaka in Uganda this 11 November, Ugandan and Tanzanian presidents condemned the recent decision of the ICC authorizing the prosecutor to open investigations into crimes committed in Burundi since 26 April 2017.

Regarding the argument put forward by both presidents that the ICC decision will affect the Inter-Burundian dialogue sessions, Charles Nditije, CNARED Chairman says the dialogue process did not really advance even before the ICC has made the decision. "They should seek their motives on the side of their commitments in this process and on the side of Burundi government which has never been part of the inclusive dialogue", he says.

CNARED Chairman says both presidents should convince Burundi government that peace talks must be negotiated between all parties involved in the Burundian crisis and the security of refugees and opposition leaders who will attend the dialogue sessions must be ensured. "If these conditions are not respected, the success of Burundi peace talks will be limited and it is probable that Burundi and the whole region plunge into the mass crimes", he says.

Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, at the same time acting president of the EAC and mediator in the inter-Burundian dialogue, said that the ICC is interfering in the affairs of this community, without any consultation with its leaders. "Such an act is unacceptable and undermines peace efforts in Burundi", he says.

On behalf of the Tanzanian government, President John Pombe Magufuli says this measure calls into question all the initiatives engaged by the East African community including the mediation sessions.

Tanzanian President Magufuli says the situation prevailing in Burundi is not so alarming considering what is reported. "Several refugees living in Tanzania have already returned to Burundi and others continue to do so", he says.

Following the ICC decision authorizing the prosecutor to open investigations into crimes committed in Burundi from 26 April 2015 to 27 October 2017, Justice Minister Aimée Laurentine Kanyana says Burundi will never cooperate with the ICC. "This decision has no effect for Burundi following its effective withdrawal from the Rome Statute since 27 October 2017", she says.

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