EAC ministers to submit report on Burundi crisis

Tuesday May 12 2015

By RISDEL KASASIRA

KAMPALA: East African Community foreign affairs ministers will on Wednesday (May 13) submit a report on the current political crisis in Burundi to their respective heads. The heads of state are expected to meet later in the day (Wednesday May 15) in Tanzania.
President Museveni is expected to travel to Dar es Salaam for the meeting. Sources say Uganda supports the Burundian constitutional court ruling that gave President Pierre Nkurunziza to stand for third-term.

But State minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem said Uganda will support whatever position the EAC ministers take. Mr Oryem said the report was expected to be ready by 6pm May 11.
“We will take the position of committee of EAC Foreign Affairs ministers,” Mr Oryem said. Uganda is represented by Regional cooperation minister Philemon Mateke.
Sources in foreign affairs say Mateke was briefed to support the Burundian constitutional ruling but it’s not clear whether countries like Rwanda will support the controversial presidential candidature of Nkurunziza.

Last week, Burundi expelled a Rwandan national working as a manager of Telecommunications Company, over espionage allegations that threaten relations between two countries.
“We support the Constitutional interpretation by the Constitutional Court. That was the position Mateke went with to Tanzania,” the source said.
Before the summit, President Museveni had appointed a committee of Ugandan ministers to interpret the Burundian Power sharing agreement that brought Nkurunziza to power in 2005 but the committee was divided.
“We got two different opinions on the matter. But luckily enough President Nkurunziza referred the matter to the Constitutional Court and an interpretation was given,” the source noted further.

rkasasira@ug.nationmedia.com

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