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Museveni Roots for New Constitution in Burundi

President Museveni has called for a new Constitution in Burundi that would guarantee long-term stability and encourage refugees to return home, Chimp Corps report.

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on 7 June promulgated a new Constitution approved by 73 per cent of voters in a referendum on 17 May.

Nkurunziza said he would not seek an additional term in office when elections take place in 2020 and pledged to support his successor.

However, receiving a report on the process of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue from former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa, who is the Facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, Museveni said “Burundi should build a new Constitution that can implement security and protection of all the people there so that Burundi nationals to return home and be able to live in peace.”

According to a statement from State House seen by ChimpReports, Museveni said “there should be no gamble in the Burundi political resolution.”

Museveni is hugely influential in Burundi affairs, having actively participated in restoring stability after a coup attempt in 2015.

In April 2015, protests erupted in Burundi when President Nkurunziza sought a third term in office.

Protesters claimed this was contrary to the country’s constitution, but the constitutional court sided with Nkurunziza.

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After the foiled coup, the government started arresting those it thought responsible.

The political conflict spiraled into a protracted crisis, compelling more than 325,000 Burundians to flee to neighbouring countries.

Principle

Receiving the report on Monday at State House, Entebbe, President Museveni, who is the current Chairman of the East African Community, observed that the strategy to solve the East African Community (EAC) regional political conflicts should be premised on principle, taking into consideration the crucial value of historical sovereignty devoid of individual interests.

“Sovereignty means a strong historical foundation based on principle and strategy to manage regional affairs and to solve political challenges exhaustively in the region now and in future,” he said as he received the document from Mr. Mkapa and his committee members.

The committee comprises Ambassadors David Kapya, Aziz Mlima, Machocha Tembele, Leonard Onyonyi and Uganda’s National Political Commissar (NPC) Brig. Gen. Henry Matsiko.

Mr. Museveni commended Mr. Mkapa and his committee for the report and noted that the document is a well-equipped instrument that can help resolve the Burundian political conflict.

The document will be tabled during the forthcoming East African Community Heads of State Summit later this month in Arusha, Tanzania.

In his remarks, Mr. Mkapa told President Museveni the report hinges on the “political roadmap of the crucial elements for the Burundi government to consider with a view to introducing a multiparty political dispensation for the benefit and safety of all key players in the country.”

Mr. Mkapa said the Government of Burundi, the opposition groups, the EAC member states, women and youth groups in that country, civil society, the media and the international community, among others, as stakeholders to the process of the Burundi Dialogue.

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