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Press Release on the Resumption of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, Arusha, Tanzania, May 21, 2016: The Inter-Burundi Dialogue resumed today at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha, Tanzania under the leadership of H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, the Facilitator of the process.


The Inter-Burundi Dialogue is being attended by various stakeholders including Former Heads of State, the National Commission for Inter-Burundi Dialogue (CNDI), all Political Parties registered in Burundi, Civil Society Organizations, Faith-based Groups, prominent Political Actors inside and outside Burundi, as well as Women and Youth groups.


The Dialogue is also being attended by representatives of the Diplomatic Community in Tanzania; UN Security Council; African Union, EAC Partner State Governments, and; the EAC Secretariat.


The 4-day Inter-Burundi Dialogue will include closed door consultation sessions between the Facilitator and the diverse stakeholders.


Opening the Dialogue, President Mkapa urged all the Parties to the conflict to renounce violence and seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.


"We are all aware that this is a Burundi problem and it can be solved only by the Barundi themselves. My role is only to facilitate the Barundi to dialogue and reach an amicable solution. My plan in this endeavour is to give ample time and space to all stakeholders to express their views on the way forward," said the facilitator.


President Mkapa hailed the support to the process by United Nations, the African Union and the international community which support he added had ensured the smooth running of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue.


He urged all stakeholders to support the process so that Burundi returns to normalcy and peace.


He urged the people of Burundi to embrace a democratic culture as they have done over the past 10 years in addition to strengthening democracy in the country.


Speaking at the function, EAC Secretary Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said it was the Community's hope that the process would bring all Burundians to a common understanding that will result in peace, democracy and prosperity in the country.


In his remarks, Amb. Jamal Benomaar, representing UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said that only a genuine and inclusive dialogue could enable Burundian stakeholders to find a way of the current crisis facing the country.


Amb. Benomaar reaffirmed the UN Security Council's full support to the EAC-led mediation effort under the leadership of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.


Addressing the delegates, AU Representative Amb. Ibrahima Fall noted that Burundi had witnessed a cycle of peace and violence, adding that the dialogue was an opportunity for the country to put an end to the cycle.


Amb. Roeland Van de Geer, on behalf of the Diplomatic Community in Tanzania, said peace in Burundi was important not just for the East African region but the world as a whole.


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