AU talks in Burundi get underway

zuma 1Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma says the African Union High-Level Delegation of Heads of State firmly believes the challenges Burundi faces can only be resolved through participation by all parties in inclusive dialogue.

Delivering his opening remarks at the African Union High-Level Delegation of Heads of State and Government meeting in Burundi on Thursday, President Zuma said the result of the inclusive dialogue should be peace, security, and stability for the people of Burundi.

President Zuma arrived in Burundi on Thursday in his capacity as the convenor and leader of Members of the High-Level Delegation, which was established by the African Union Summit of the Heads of State and Government recently held in Addis Ababa.

Members of the High-Level Delegation are President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz of Mauritania, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia.

The leaders were tasked to visit Burundi and meet with the highest authorities and other stakeholders to urge them to work together to find an inclusive political solution.

President Zuma said the AU Summit had expressed deep concerns about the situation in that country.

“The summit also expressed its support for the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and urged all parties in Burundi to participate in the mediation efforts in order to find a peaceful solution.

“Our mandate is to consult with all the important players here in Burundi regarding the political situation and to encourage all players to participate in the mediation process facilitated by President Museveni, and to urge all to engage actively in the Inter-Burundian Dialogue,” said President Zuma.

He said the delegation’s objectives for this visit are to strengthen, assist and support dialogue between all Burundi stakeholders; explore mechanisms to support the East African Community Mediation process led by President Museveni and ascertain ways in which the African Union and the East African Community working together can assist in ensuring that the situation continues to improve. –