The President of the Pan African Parliament, Hon. Bethel Amadi has urged the leadership in Burundi to respect the country’s Constitution in order to avoid the continuing violent protests in the country.
“The situation in Burundi is very clear, the Constitution is clear; leaders should respect the very Constitution that brought them into power,” said Hon. Amadi as the continental parliamentarians wound up debate on the Address on the State of Peace and Security in Africa.
The Address was made by the Chairperson of the African Union Council for Peace and Security, Mrs Amina Djibo Diallo during a PAP plenary session held in Midrand, South Africa, May 20, 2015.
Violent protests in which people have been killed broke out in Burundi, especially the capital city, Bujumbura over the last two weeks, following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s insistence on standing for re-election in the poll originally scheduled for next month, but which has now been postponed.
“You should take the responsibility of preserving life and property seriously; the hard won peace should not be sacrificed for personal political reasons.”
He said that Africans are reluctant to put in place mechanisms to address the root causes of the conflicts in their countries.
In her address, Mrs. Djibo Diallo said that the situation Burundi is a “serious source of worry” and that they were working in close cooperation with neighboring countries through the East African Community to preserve peace and stability in the country.
The Leader of Uganda’s delegation, Hon. Onyango Kakoba, said the number of conflicts on the continent had increased since the 1990s compared to the period between the 1960s up until the 1990s.
He said that he was part of a team that went to Burundi as part of regional peace efforts in 1998, but said that the new conflict showed that lessons had not been learnt since then.
“We need to strengthen governance internally in order to minimize conflict. We also have to enforce mechanisms put in place like the African Charter on Democracy, Governance and Elections,” he said.
Members condemned the poor leadership on the continent, which they blamed for the unending conflicts in which life and property are destroyed. Members also condemned the xenophobic attacks in which non South Africans were attacked, some killed and their property looted or destroyed in South Africa in April last month.
Burundi MP, Hon. Innocent Nkurunziza said the situation at home had improved and appealed to members not to take extreme positions but be sensitive to the situation in the country.
“We appreciate the peace missions sent to Burundi; I call upon colleagues to be sensitive to our situation. We hope that your extreme positions do not further divide the people further,” he said.
The 6th Ordinary Session of the 3rd Parliament is being held at the PAP headquarters in Midrand, South Africa; May 18 – 29, 2015.
Uganda’s other representatives to PAP are Hon. Beatrice Barumba (NRM, Kiruhura district), Hon. Elijah Okupa (FDC, Kasilo) and Hon. Sam Amoti Otada (Ind., Kibanda) and Hon. Jacquiline Amongin (NRM, Ngora district).