The Government of the Republic of Burundi has taken note of the communiqué PSC / PR / COMM.2 (DXV) of the AU Peace and Security Council, following the meeting held June 13, 2015 in Johannesburg and, regardless of the upcoming consultations with the AU Commission, the Government has the honor to inform national and international community of the following :
1. As indeed recommended by the Summit of Heads of State of the East African Community held on May 31, 2015, and in order to prepare free, peaceful, inclusive, credible and transparent elections in 2015, the Government has already postponed the elections to the most remote possible dates within constitutional constraints to prevent the chaos that would arise from any institutional vacuum.
The new technically and constitutionally acceptable schedule stands as follows :
a. Local Councils and MPs : 29 June 2015,
b. Presidential Election : 15 July, 2015,
c. Senators : 24 July, 2015.
Even though the Government agrees with the principle of consensus on the electoral calendar, the latter should not go beyond these constitutional constraints, as the authority responsible for summoning elections would fall within the scope of high treason, according to the Constitution.
Dialogue and appeasement of the electoral climate
2. Regarding the dialogue and the measures to be taken to appease the electoral climate, it should be recalled that the Government has already proven its good faith notably by undertaking to suspend the execution of warrants arrest against the organizers of violent demonstrations. As it is not the only player in calming the situation, the Government looks forward to a formal appeal to stop violent protests by their organizers, as requested by the Summit.
Disarmament of armed civilians
3. Concerning the disarmament of youth groups affiliated with political parties that would hold weapons, the Government once again informs the opinion that instructions have been given to the National Commission in charge of disarmament, to accelerate the pace of recovery of all weapons illegally owned by the population. It should be recalled that to date, over a hundred thousand firearms have been recovered by police as part of the disarmament program.
4. But to reach even more satisfactory results, the Government appealed to all partners concerned to join joint safety committees namely : political parties without exception, civil society organizations, the administration as a whole and the local population to cooperate in the disarmament campaign, in order to help in organizing excellent elections.
Any regional or international support in the form of observers recommended by the African Union would be welcome to witness this already existing reality.
5. Also in the same perspective towards securing the electoral process, the Government is committed to ensure physical security of political leaders before, during and after the elections and remains at their disposal for technical arrangements over the implementation of this commitment. Once the polling stations will be announced, security units will be deployed to provide the most secure environment possible.
Return of refugees
6. With regard to refugees, the Government welcomes their progressive and satisfactory return. More than 35 thousand of the approximate 70,000 refugees who fled due to recent rumors have returned, including 15,000 recently welcomed by the Head of State at Makamba in the south, back from Tanzania and other returned from Rwanda in the north, back to the provinces of Kirundo and Muyinga.
7. As it has done, the government plans to send more missions to countries hosting refugees to discuss their voluntary return. To this end, the Government reiterates its request that the countries and organizations of refugees no longer be obstacles to refugees wishing to return home but rather contribute to raising awareness for the repatriation of those who wish to.
8. Finally, the Government of the Republic of Burundi remains willing to cooperate with the experts to be sent by Burundi’s partners in an effort to achieve a smooth electoral process.
Done at Bujumbura, June 16, 2015
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-