1. On 13 February 2017, the Government of the Republic of Burundi has received an invitation from His Excellency William Mkapa, Facilitator in the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, to send delegates to the Session scheduled from 16 to 18 February in Arusha, Tanzania.
2. The Government of the Republic of Burundi acknowledges receipt of this invitation and thanks the Facilitator for his commitment to accompany this process and his readiness to support the people of Burundi whenever they need it. The Government of the Republic of Burundi appreciates the Facilitator’s determination and selfless efforts, which are the leitmotif that will bring the ongoing Inter-Burundi dialogue process to the forefront, as highlighted in the clearest possible terms during the Facilitator’s visit to Bujumbura in December 2016.
3. The Government of the Republic of Burundi, while welcoming the significant development of the process led by the Facilitator Benjamin William Mkapa, finds that there are some irregularities in the organization of this session which deviates from the usual spirit of concertation with regard to the establishment of the list of guests and the agenda of the session. Thus, the presence of violent actors, especially the coup makers wanted by the Justice among potential guests encroaches on the Sovereignty of the Republic of Burundi and the Laws that govern the country, in particular the Law on Political Parties.
4. Furthermore, the presumed presence of some personalities in this session, in particular Mr. Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who is no longer trusted by the Government of the Republic of Burundi, does not guarantee the serenity of the proceedings of this session.
5. As a result, the Government of the Republic of Burundi has decided not to send delegates to Arusha in the session scheduled from 16 to 18 February 2017. Burundians need international solidarity indeed, but they must enjoy their most absolute right to be respected in their choices and in the conduct of a process of dialogue which is thoroughly theirs.
6. The Government of the Republic of Burundi reaffirms its commitment to support and promote the culture of dialogue, the fight against impunity and the preservation of national sovereignty. In this regard, the Government welcomes the step taken by the Internal Dialogue process and denounces any approach that would undermine the consensual results achieved to date. Finally, the Government appeals to the peace-loving Burundians who are still outside the country, to return home to join their contribution to that of their compatriots inside the country, in order to build a better Burundi.
Done at Bujumbura, 15th of February 2017
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-