18 Nov

Burundi Crises : Political Stalemate And The Risk Of An Explosion Of Violence On The Eve Of The 2020 Elections.


Burundi Crises:  « Political stalemate and the risk of an explosion of violence on the eve of the 2020 elections».

Presented by Counsel Armel NIYONGERE, Lawyer, President and Legal Representative of Acat-Burundi, Director and Initiator of the Organization SOS Torture/Burundi and General Coordinator of the Lawyers’ Collective of Civil Party «Justice for Burundi”»


Twitter: @NiyongereArmel

Skype: armel.niyongere78

Whatsapp: +45 369 88 718 / /

  1. Introduction

In the aftermath of the failure of the “fifth and final round of inter-Burundian dialogue“, which was scheduled for 24-29 October 2018, Burundi finds itself in a serious political stalemate and risks engaging in violence as its only path of political expression.

The hope of a political compromise at the end of this last round promised by Facilitator Benjamin Mkapa [1] was ruined by the boycott of the activities by the government side and the parties of its mobility. The latter demanded that the only item on the agenda for the session be the signed road map in the province of Kayanza (northern Burundi) in early August 2018 for the 2020 elections. That document has been approved by about twenty pro-government political parties without internal and external opposition.

Representatives of CNARED opposition platform in exile and opponents residing in Burundi met from 21 to 23 September 2018 in Entebbe, Uganda, and came up with a joint memorandum for facilitation.

Based on the two documents transmitted to him, the Facilitator William Benjamin Mkapa asked the participants of the 5th session of the dialogue to take into consideration the Kayanza and Entebbe roadmaps in order to come up with another roadmap including key proposals that could lead to credible holding in 2020 elections. Thus, the Facilitator Mkapa has promised to prepare a roadmap based on the Kayanza roadmap and the 5th session of the dialogue to produce a report that he will submit to the mediator and the Heads of State of East Africa for guidance.

It is noted that the independent Burundian civil society has sent correspondances to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Presidents of the East African Community, the African Union as well as Mediation and Facilitation in the Burundian conflict, the priorities for the resolution of the Burundian crisis and their position in relation to the fifth round of negotiations for the resolution of the Burundian crisis, this letter was sent on 07 September 2018.

All parties deplored the unilateral revision of the constitution by the Burundian Government and insisted on respect for the Arusha Agreement, which remains the bedrock of the return to peace and security in Burundi. Then, positive conditions  to the respect of human rights, the voluntary return of refugees must prevail for the holding of free, peaceful and transparent elections in 2020 as the reopening of destroyed media and organizations of civil society suspended or canceled …

Clearly, the failure of the East African Community’s mediation and the continued foreclosure of public space by the Government is an important factor in the deterioration of the political and security situation in the face of rising hate speech and violence during the 2020 electoral process.

[1] Former Tanzanian President working with the Ombudsman, Kaguta Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda on behalf of EAC (East African Community).