Kikwete tasks EAC foreign ministers to study Burundi situation


East African Community Chairman and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete

The Chairman of the East African Community (EAC) and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete on Tuesday assigned foreign ministers of Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda to study the political situation in Burundi to help the region respond to the chaotic situation in the country.

President Kikwete who is in New York on official assignment told the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, when he briefed him on the political crisis in the neighboring country.

According to a State House statement, President Kikwete told the Secretary General “the absolute solution on Burundi political crisis is in the Burundians’ hands.”

“It’s a matter of leaders respecting  the national constitution and the electoral law,” he reportedly said, cautioning “it’s also the responsibility of the region to help the country get out of the challenges it now faces.”

The Secretary General had earlier expressed concern on the political situation in Burundi asking President Kikwete to help restore peace to the East African country. Ban Ki-Moon also asked Kikwete’s counterpart in Uganda, Yoweri Museveni to do the same.

The foreign ministers are to hold important meetings with key players and stakeholders in Bujumbura and submit their recommendations to the EAC later this week.

The Burundian Foreign Minister met his Tanzanian counterpart Bernard Membe  in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday to discuss the urgent issue.

Over a week ago, the ruling CNDD-FDD nominated President Pierre NKurunziza to be the party’s flag bearer in next month’s general election. The move ignited protests in the capital Bujumbura as the constitution bars the president from run for the 3rd term.