1. On 16 April 2018, the Government of Burundi took notice of a joint publication by the Commission of the African Union and the United Nations stating that the two organizations were concerned by a decision of the Government of Burundi to suspend its participation in the Inter-Burundian Dialogue led by the Facilitator Benjamin Mkapa.
2. While appreciating the efforts of the international community, particularly the United Nations and the African Union to find solutions to Burundian problems, the Government of Burundi would like to make a formal denial vis-à-vis this publication inasmuch as the Government has never declared that it intends to turn its back on the inter-Burundian dialogue, since the latter has been and will always be its central priority to resolve any dispute between the daughters and sons of the Burundi. This is a tradition, a centuries-old and millenary culture among the people of Burundi.
3. To this end, the Government of Burundi would like to reassure these two organizations that it still maintains its confidence in the Facilitator in the inter-Burundian Dialogue, His Excellency Benjamin MKAPA and His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta MUSEVENI as well as in the efforts they are constantly deploying to find common ground within the Burundian political class. The collaboration between the Government of Burundi and the Facilitation does not suffer from any sprain so far.
4. Referring to the conclusions of the last session of the December 2017 held in Arusha, Tanzania, the Government of Burundi expressed its satisfaction at the significant progress made at this meeting, where most of the issues opposing the Burundian political class found common ground. The Government of Burundi has welcomed the constructive spirit that characterized the participants in this Session and welcomes the conclusions that have emerged from it, since the Facilitator has been able to identify points of convergence far more numerous than those of differences on issues that were on the agenda of the Session.
5. Encouraged by this significant progress, the Government of Burundi has expressed its wish to get this dialogue repatriated to Burundi, to allow sufficient time for the various political partners to prepare well for the 2020 elections, a wish also expressed by the facilitator himself at the closing of the last summit of the Heads of State of the sub-region held in Kampala in February 2018.
6. With regard to the compliance with the Arusha Agreement, the Government recalls that it remains the foundation that was used to build the draft revised Constitution proposed for referendum very soon following the insistent request of the people of Burundi during the sessions of the Internal Dialogue. It should be recalled that the first and principal guarantor of the Arusha Agreement is and remains the people of Burundi since even the Constitution under revision that refers to this Agreement has had to follow the same path of the referendum process before being adopted and promulgated in 2005.
7. With regard to the dates for the next session of the inter-Burundian dialogue, the Government is willing and remains in touch with facilitation to discuss and set a consensual rendezvous that does not disrupt the course of major activities already scheduled.
8. In conclusion, the Government of Burundi reassures the international community that it will spare no effort to guarantee peace and security gained in part thanks to the Arusha Agreement. It finally asks the international community to accompany the people of Burundian in the process of the 2020 elections of which the Government already guarantees a peaceful climate, but in the respect of its sovereignty.
Done at Bujumbura, 17th of April 2017
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-