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AU dispatches mission to Bujumbura over political crisis

The African Union (AU) in reiterating its appeal for dialogue and restraint in order to find a consensual solution to the crisis in Burundi, has officially dispatched a high-powered mission to Bujumbura, the capital, over the political crisis rocking the country.

The AU, weekend, sent a High Level mission to Burundi to try to find a solution to the current political crisis, just as the EAC is said to be holding an extraordinary session of its leaders in Dar Es Salam, Tanzania.

According to AU sources, this move is expected to help to clarify the two institution’s positions on the third term and the holding of the May presidential election issues.

Led by Mr. Edem Kodjo, former Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), former Togolese Prime Minister and member of the AU Panel of the Wise, and including Professor Ibrahima Fall, former Minister of Affairs Foreign of Senegal and former United Nations (UN) Assistant Secretary-General, the delegation will meet with the relevant Burundian authorities, as well as with other stakeholders, including political parties, civil society organizations and religious leaders.

It will also meet with the representatives of the international community in Bujumbura, and will work closely with the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit, within the spirit of the AU-UN partnership in the area of peace and security.

“As part of the efforts by the African Union (AU) to help find a peaceful solution to the current crisis in Burundi and as a follow-up to the relevant decisions of the Peace and Security Council (PSC), the Chairperson of the Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has dispatched a high-level delegation to Bujumbura, as of today.

“This mission will enhance the AU’s support to the regional efforts, through the East African Community (EAC), within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture,” said the source.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterated the AU’s urgent appeal to all concerned stakeholders to exercise restraint and to embark upon a genuine and constructive dialogue, ‘ in order to overcome the serious challenges at hand, in order to preserve the important achievements made since the signing of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi, strengthen democracy and the rule of law and create conditions conducive to the holding of transparent, free, fair and inclusive elections, in line with the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.’

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