African leaders to discuss Burundi poll guarantees

Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) are scheduled to meet in the Tanzanian business capital of Dar es Salam on Wednesday.

African leaders to discuss Burundi poll guarantees

World Bulletin / News Desk 

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza will have to assure East African leaders – when they meet on Wednesday – that his country's elections will be free, fair and peaceful, Tanzania's top diplomat has said.

Leaders of the East African Community (EAC) – a regional bloc comprised of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – are scheduled to meet in the Tanzanian business capital of Dar es Salam on Wednesday.

"The Burundian government will have the duty to convince the summit that the country's next election will be free, fair and peaceful," Tanzanian Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Bernard Membe told in Swahili.

"President Nkurunziza will also have to give assurance on the rule of law before and after Burundi's general election slated for June 26," he stressed.

For the first time in Burundi's history, eight candidates have applied to contest the upcoming presidential polls.

-Findings-

Minister Membe, who led an EAC fact-finding mission to Burundi last week, said they would deliver findings and recommendations at the leader's summit.

"We will submit to the five regional heads of state our report on the violence in Burundi," he told Anadolu Agency.

The fact-finding delegation included the foreign ministers of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, who met with leaders of political parties and civil society activists in Burundi.

The opposition and civil society activists accuse Nkurunziza and his ruling party of violating the 2000 Arusha agreement, which ended a deadly conflict between Hutus and Tutsis in Burundi.

Critics say a third-term run by Nkurunziza would violate the terms of the 2000 Arusha agreement, which stipulated that Burundi's president should serve no more than two terms in office.

According to Burundi's constitution, the president can serve only two terms in office.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Mayıs 2015, 12:39
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