• Following a Petition filed at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) on the deteriorating human rights and humanitarian situation in the Republic of Burundi, a second public hearing workshop will be held at EALA Chambers on Monday, January 25, 2016.

    According to a dispatch from Bujumbura received by the Office of the Clerk, EALA, a Government of Burundi delegation led by Ambassador Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister in Charge of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will make submissions at the public hearing workshop. 

    In the delegation is Hon Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, Minister of Public Security; Hon Léontine Nzeyimana, Minister to the Office of the President responsible for East African Community Affairs and Mr Gélase Ndabirabe, spokesperson of the Ruling Party CNDD–FDD.  Others are Mr Augustin Nzojibwami, leader of the SANGWE PADER Party, Leader of the FNL Party, Mr. Jacques Bigirimana, leader of the UPRONA Party, Madame Concile Nibigira and the leader of the Coalition of Parties (COPA), Mr Jean de Dieu Mutabazi.

    Earlier, the public hearing workshop called by EALA Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee (RACR) and scheduled for January13-16th, 2016 was called off when the Assembly received a letter from the Government of the Republic of Burundi vide a letter dated January 8, 2016, indicating their unavailability on the planned dates. The letter however, reiterated Burundi’s desire to participate in the workshop after 18th January, 2016.

    The workshop was meant to review the petition by the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) submitted to EALA in November 2015 on the subject matter.

    In the petition presented to the Speaker of EALA, Mr Daniel Kidega, by PALU (Principal Petitioner) and the East African Civil Society Organisations’ Forum (EACSOF), EALA was requested to take measures within its mandate to contain the situation in the Republic of Burundi lest it descends into genocide or mass atrocities.

    Other civil societies that appended their signatures to the petition included: Centre for Citizens’ Participation on the African Union, Kituo Cha Katiba (KcK), East Africa Law Society (EALS) and Atrocities Watch Africa.

    Moreover, the petition called on EALA or any other relevant body to hold a public hearing in Arusha that will allow Burundians and East African citizens to testify and draw the way forward for the East African country.

    Chairman of the Regional and Conflict Resolution Committee, Hon Abdullah Mwinyi said the Monday public hearing is also open to other stakeholders interested in attending, upon prior arrangement.

    Once finalized, the Committee shall retreat and prepare its Report which will be forwarded to the Assembly for deliberations at 4th Meeting of the 4th Session which commences in Arusha on Monday, January 25, 2016 through to February 5, 2016.

    Image Credit: UNHCR/Kate Holt