The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region, the EAC-COMESA Eminent Persons, the High Level Delegation of the AU and the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR are appalled by the escalation of violence in Burundi that has led to many deaths, injuries and thousands of refugees.

They strongly condemn the despicable grenade attack on 22 May that killed eight (8) and injured about forty (40) people, as well as the assassination on 23 May of Mr. Zedi Feruzi, presidential candidate of the UPD-Zigamibanga party and his body guard. They extend their deep condolences to the families of the bereaved and wish quick recovery to those injured.

They call on the Burundi authorities to swiftly investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these heinous crimes against civilians and political leaders.

These events should serve as a wakeup call to the political leaders in Burundi to act diligently and engage resolutely in searching for peaceful resolution of their differences through dialogue. They recall that peace and security are paramount to all Burundians and violence is not an option.

They call on the Government to guarantee the security of all citizens, respect their human rights and exercise restraint at all times and in particular while handling demonstrations. They further urge civil society, political parties and demonstrators to act responsibly in accordance with the law.

They appeal for calm and urge all parties to make all efforts to avoid leading the country to a deeper crisis with far-reaching consequences on peace and security in the region.

They recall that the political dialogue involving the Government, political parties, civil society and religious representatives that started on 05 May continues with a view to ease tensions, restore confidence and create conditions conducive to the holding of free, fair, inclusive and peaceful elections. They strongly urge all participants to remain fully engaged in the dialogue and act in good faith and wisdom to complement the efforts of the Facilitators.

The Facilitators re-affirm their commitment to continue working with all parties to prepare the ground for peaceful and credible elections in Burundi in respect of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement and the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi.

 

Bujumbura, 24 May 2015

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