Monday, September 10, 2018 – Friday, September 14, 2018
Burundi opposition call for the peace talks to end. Burundian opposition leaders have called for the next mediated sessions to be the last one. The facilitation team is currently consulting political leaders and other key stakeholders on the next session of the inter-Burundi dialogue, aimed at ending the political crisis that erupted in 2015. President Pierre Nkurunziza’s declaration that he would not seek another term in office was a relief for the facilitation team as it had been a stumbling block in the peace talks. Opposition leaders now argue that there is an urgent need to address the political environment in the country to enable creation of a road map for elections in 2020.
Burundi has provided an explanation as to why it cancelled the visas of United Nations experts who came to the country, on invitation of the Burundi government, to investigate human rights abuses and violations. Renovat Tabu, Burundi’s ambassador in Geneva says the issue of expelled U.N. human rights experts from Bujumbura is being twisted to paint his country’s government in a bad light. Deputy Human Rights Commissioner Kate Gilmore told the UN Council on Human Rights that her office could not deliver a promised report on human rights in Burundi because the government had not cooperated with the expert team, who were deployed in March and told their visas were cancelled in April. According to Tabu, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, had changed the UN team’s mission, an “irregularity” which surprised Burundi’s migration services, who declined to extend the team’s visas.
Burundi is gripped by violence since 2015 when then president Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term. Clashes led to hundreds dead and half a million refugees fleeing into neighbouring Rwanda. Burundi faced double scrutiny from the UN Human Rights team and a Commission of Inquiry, the latter of which accused Burundi of committing crimes against humanity, whipped up by rhetoric of top officials.
In Burundi, public-private partnerships have succeeded in reviving the coffee sector. In 2008, the government of Burundi officially launched its national strategy for the revival of the coffee sector for the period 2015-2021. The total Investment costs were somewhere around USD 81million. Ten years later, the sector is revived thanks to the public-private partnership set up, which will eventually produce 30,000 tonnes of high-quality coffee each year. Agriculture account for 40 per cent of GDP in Burundi and employs more than 90 per cent of the population. The coffee and tea industry account for more than 60 per cent of foreign exchange earnings.