Former Burundi leader says solution to crisis lies in 2005 peace accord

Entebbe Uganda – Former Burundi President Domitien Ndayizeye says the solution to the current crisis in the east African country lay in the Arusha Peace Accord that ended the 1993-2005 civil war.
He stated this shortly after the launch of the resumption of peace talks aimed at ending the current spate of fighting.
Ndayizeye, who served as Burundi president from 2003 to 2005, said the gruesome 1993-2005 civil war birthed the Arusha Accord, which spelt out the future of Burundi.
“The future of Burundi is constructed in that (Arusha) agreement.
“We wrote the Constitution according to the spirit and content of the accord,” he said.
Ndayizeye said during the negotiations to end the 2005 civil war, every clause of the agreement was explained to the Burundians.
According to him, that explains as to why they keep referring to it to determine the future of the country.
The agreement traced the root causes of the crises Burundi had faced right from the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial period.
The former Burundian leader said while the current crisis was sparked off by Nkurunziza running for a third term in office contrary to the country’s constitution, there were other underlying causes.
He named ethnic, economic exclusion and violation of the Arusha Accord regarding power sharing with the opposition parties as some of the causes.

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“The problem is not only political, it is also economic management, there is a lot of corruption,” he said.
According to him, many Burundians had hoped that when Nkurunziza’s second term of office ends, a new leader would come in and propel the country’s economy to greater heights to the benefit of all.
He argued that as the government and the opposition reconvened in Arusha early next year to negotiate, they should look at the Arusha Accord as their guiding principle.
“To move forward, there is need to respect the Arusha agreement, there is no other choice,” Ndayizeye said.
While negotiations continue, Ndayizeye urged that there is need to help stop the killings in the country.
He said the international community needs to intervene to stop the deadly clashes between the opposition and the military.

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