From 21 to 22 April 2018, the CNARED Executive Board held an extraordinary session to take stock of the political situation in Burundi. The meeting was held on the eve of the so called referendum illegally imposed by the dictatorial power of Pierre Nkurunziza scheduled for May 17, 2018.
At the end of the session, the CNARED-GIRITEKA makes public the following declaration:
- Once again, the CNARED-GIRITEKA would like to solemnly challenge the so called constitutional referendum scheduled for May 17, 2018, for lack of constitutional basis.
- The CNARED-GIRITEKA deplores the nameless exactions of the dictatorial regime of Bujumbura against the ordinary citizens to force them to support the plan of annihilation of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi by the abrogation of the current Constitution that was drawn from the above-mentioned Agreement. The Burundian people together with the whole international community recognize that this Agreement has worked and Burundian people came to reconcile with themselves after decades of war between brothers and sisters of the same mother land.
- Twenty five days before the fateful date of the referendum repealing the 2005 Constitution whose consequences are the total cancellation of any reference to the letter and the spirit of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi, Nkurunziza is paving the way to a republican monarchy with its unfortunate consequences on Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.
- Having refused to fully join the interburundian dialogue proposed by all partners (United Nations, African Union etc.) and recognized as the best way to resolve peacefully the Burundi crisis, the behavior of Nkurunziza obliged the Facilitator, His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa to cancel the fifth session of the interburundian dialogue that was planned to take place on April 25, 2018. The referendum of May 17, 2018 will definitely put an end to these talks.
- It is with regret that the CNARED-GIRITEKA notes that the East African Community has not been able to face the stubbornness of Nkurunziza and help Burundi to peacefully come out from the current crisis by a negotiated solution.
- Therefore, on May 17, 2018, the talks initiated by the said Community are to be terminated by a total failure of the mediation of the East African Community.
- The CNARED-GIRITEKA asks the international community, especially the guarantors of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi, to seriously be aware of the dangers threatening the Burundi country in particular and the region as a whole. It is high time to take the necessary sanctions against the dictatorship of Bujumbura including an economic embargo similar to that of 1996 to restore the letter and spirit of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.
- The international community must quickly act. The risk of implosion is a reality in Burundi. Fail to efficiently act while it is still possible would be considered as a act of non- assistance to people in danger.
Done in Brussels, on April 22, 2018
On behalf of the CNARED-GIRITEKA
Dr Jean Minani