Press statement by the Burundi Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission on the Chair’s visit to Burundi, Uganda and Tanzania- 16 November 2015
From 9 to 11 November, H.E. Mr. Jürg Lauber undertook his first visit to Burundi in his capacity as Chair of the Burundi Configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). The objective of his visit was to establish contacts with the Government of Burundi and other key stakeholders, to gain a better understanding of the current political crisis and to learn about the Government’s plans to address the situation. The Chair also explored opportunities for the PBC’s engagement both regarding immediate steps to lower the tensions and in support to medium and long-term peacebuilding priorities.
During his visit, the Chair met the President of the Republic, H.E Mr. Pierre Nkurunziza, senior Government Officials, leaders of political parties, senior officials from national institutions, representatives of civil society organizations, women associations, representatives of regional organizations, members of the diplomatic community, international and regional financial institutions, as well as representatives of the UN family, both MENUB and the UN Country Team.
The discussions were organized around four main issues: the security situation and on-going violence, dialogue initiatives, the socio-economic impact of the current crisis, and partnerships both at regional and international levels.
The Chair expressed his hope that the government and the various groups of the opposition will engage in an inclusive and genuine dialogue process in order to restore trust among the Burundian people. He encouraged the Government of Burundi and other interlocutors to reach out to regional and international partners for expertise and support. He also expressed concern about inflammatory rhetoric which could incite hatred among different groups of the Burundian society, and appealed to all stakeholders to refrain from violence.
The Chair underlined that Burundian stakeholders still have a window of opportunity, although the current situation must be urgently addressed in a coordinated manner, in cooperation with international partners and in a spirit of compromise.
From Bujumbura, the Chair continued his trip to Kampala, Uganda, where he met the Minister of Defense, Crispus Kiyonga, who is leading the EAC-mediation process on behalf of President Museveni on Thursday, 12 November. On Friday and Saturday, 13-14 November, he held discussions with representatives of the Government of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam, of the East African Legislative Assembly, the World Bank, UN agencies and the diplomatic community. On 18 November, the Chair will report to the PBC Burundi Configuration in New York.