On the 28th July 2016, SALO facilitated a dialogue in Tshwane entitled Building Regional and International Consensus: Burundi. This Policy Brief is part of the SA-EU peace and security cooperation dialogue series facilitated by SALO. Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of South Africa & Mr Richard Smith, Coordinator of the African Insider Mediators Platform, Technical Advisor to the ACTION Support Centre (ACS) and SALO Board Member, gave opening remarks.
The aim was to initiate an informed and representative dialogue on the current crisis as well as the international community’s response to it. In 2015, Burundi was plunged into another crisis since the end of the civil war in 20051. The current crisis began when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third Presidential term in April 2015. The resultant outrage and protests provoked an attempted coup, in which members of the military tried to seize power.
The key outcomes of the discussion include:
- An acknowledgement of the deteriorating situation in Burundi and the reality of the violence that has plagued the country.
- The important role that the international community has to play in creating lasting peace in Burundi.
- A realisation that South Africa needs to reengage with both the Burundian officials and opposition in order to initiate a constructive dialogue around Burundi’s future prospects, in light of the dire socioeconomic context and tremendously volatile political situation
The dialogue further pointed out some key issues related to contemporary concerns and issues, these included: the East African region’s peace and security challenges, on-going violence between the Burundian government & rebel forces and the subsequent threats to stability both in Burundi and the region.
Read full Policy Brief here: PB 8 of 2016 – July 2016