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Burundi Watch Update 94

Nothing binding at Inter-Burundian Dialogue

Weeks of working in groups and consultations, the Inter Burundian dialogue finally took place on 5 December with the facilitation of former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.

Mr Mkapa later said there would be no declaration or binding document after dialogue.  During the two weeks several issues were discussed but the only convergence was on the Arusha Agreement for Peace and reconciliation in Burundi, a roadmap for peaceful with credible, and free and fair elections in 2020.

Others were the need to end the impunity in Burundi as well as the independence of the National Electoral Commission.  There were however contention on the issue of the application of and respect for the fundamental freedoms of individuals and registered groups such as freedom of association, assembly, expression and movement. These would be subjects of further dialogue said the facilitator.

Civil Society wants more change

Civil society in Burundi has asked for commitment for the strict respect for the Arusha Agreement which is regarded as the reference and foundation of political, social, economic and security stability of Burundi.

Their concerns are because the economy of Burundi is failing and they want leaders to consider socio-economic solutions as well to reduce on the levels of unemployment and inflation plaguing the people of Burundi.

The leaders say that the disparity between the GDP in Burundi which is $300 while its estimated that is more than $600 for the other East African Countries (EAC).  They also cite unemployment among the young people as extremely high.

Refugees refuse biometric registration

Over 2,000 Burundian refugees that live in a camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo have resisted plans to register them on a biometric database claiming that it would violate their religion. The refugees belong to the Catholic sect that follows a prophet called Zebiya say they fled their homes in 2015 claiming religious persecution. The refugees have resisted the registration despite attempts from the UN and other refugee agencies to formally capture their details.

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