Burundi is a regional issue, says EAC

Burundian military patrolling the streets of Bujumbura in the wake of recent deadly grenade attacks

Burundian military patrolling the streets of Bujumbura in the wake of recent deadly grenade attacks

The East African Community (EAC) has expressed worries the worsening political crisis is bound to affect the entire East and Central African region urging for the resumption of dialogue, and cooperation with the African Union.

EAC Chairman and Tanzanian President John Magufuli warned Monday the turmoil has political and economic for neighbouring countries.

Magufuli stressed Burundi poses a genuine security concern that warrants African Union and International Community intervention to restore peace to the country.

“Tanzania will continue to work closely with all stakeholders in searching for a peaceful and lasting solution to the Burundi crisis,” he said adding “’we are of the view that in order to achieve sustainable peace and security in Burundi, inclusive dialogue is the only solution.”

President Magufuli made the remarks Monday while addressing Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations in Tanzania during the annual gathering held at the State House in Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania is one of the countries that in the region bearing the brunt of the Burundian conflict by hosting thousands of refugees.

Magufuli, who in the past has supported African Union proposed troop deployment to the tiny neighbouring state says his country has reservation regarding the measure without the Burundi’s consent.

Magufuli applauded Uganda and President Yoweri Museveni’s efforts to forge dialogue as facilitator.
The development comes hours after the latest string of grenade attacks rocked the capital Bujumbura killing four people including a child selling boiled eggs on the street.

Despite routine deadly grenade explosions and worsening violence, the government in Bujumbura is yet to budge in its strong opposition to the African Union proposal to deploy 5000 peacekeepers.

During the recent 26th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, African leaders decided to shelve the plan to deploy troops to Burundi without the government’s approval.

President Pierre Nkurunziza has threatened to attack the “invading forces” if AU sends troops to Burundi.
The African Union is in talks with the Burundian government to reach a compromise.
The conflict has claimed about 500 lives and forces thousands into exile.