29 November 2017

Tanzania: Arusha - Politicians Disagree On Formation of National Unity Government

The formation of the national unity government is among eight points to be discussed during the 4th session of the inter-Burundian dialogue that began on 27 November in Arusha, Tanzania. Participants' opinions diverge greatly on this point.

The facilitator in the Burundian conflict, William Benjamin Mkapa, announced on 27 November that participants in the 4th ongoing dialogue session would discuss the formation of a national unity government.

Evariste Ngayimpenda, a political opponent, says he supports the formation of a government of national unity since the current Burundi institutions are not legitimate as they resulted from fraudulent 2015 elections. "Many Burundians were prevented from participating in these elections, others boycotted them and they were contested by the international community such as the UN, the East African Community, the AU..," says Ngayimpenda.

He accuses the ruling party CNDD-FDD of having rigged the 2015 elections. "Despite all this, CNDD-FDD party won the elections with 44%," he says adding that another half of Burundians have the right to be represented in the state institutions.

Jacques Bigirimana, the chairman of FNL party said to be pro-government, swears that he will leave the conference room if ever he finds that the formation of a government of national unity is one of the items on the agenda. "We will not talk about it because there are legitimate institutions resulting from democratically held elections. That's all, "says Bigirimana.

According to a special envoy of Iwacu to Arusha, participants are divided into five groups due to divergences on the matter. They are namely a group of members of pro-government political parties, a group of political opponents, a group of members of pro-government civil society, a group of members of the civil society against the government as well as a group of former Burundi Heads of State. It is expected that they agree on a Burundian moderator. Pro-government participants would have suggested the current Burundian ombudsman, but the opposition would have rejected their proposition.

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