A policeman holds his rifle during a protest against Burundi President Nkurunziza and his bid for a third term in Bujumbura

Source: The Chronicle

The Government of Ghana says it has noted developments in the Republic of Burundi, in particular, the recent political events, including the protests that greeted President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office.

A statement signed by the Foreign Minister, Hannah Tetteh, noted that all Africans should be concerned and disturbed by the current trajectory of events in the East African country. The following is the full report

The Government of Ghana has noted the developments in the Republic of Burundi, in particular, the recent political events including the protests that greeted President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term, the attempted coup d’état and its casualties, the flight of thousands of refugees from the country, violent clashes in the capital Bujumbura and the murder of an opposition leader Zedi Feruzi.

We are of the considered opinion that all persons, especially Africans and our continental bodies, who wish this beautiful country well, should be concerned and disturbed by the current trajectory of events and the risks that the situation presents not only to Burundi but the East African Region as a whole.

The Government of Ghana wishes to emphasise the need for individual member states of our African continent to continue to work towards building credible democratic institutions within a constitutional democracy.

In doing that however, we cannot ignore the key tenets of democracy, namely the respect for the rule of law, commitment to the safety and protection of citizens irrespective of their political views, religious beliefs or ethnicity, and the respect for the democratic process that gives citizens the right to choose their government.

We urge the Government of President Pierre Nkurunziza to review the activities planned towards the conduct of elections scheduled for next month and take all necessary steps to hold consultations with the key stakeholders in Burundi’s democracy.

This we believe will ensure a return to peaceful coexistence, the maintenance of law and order, and a conducive environment for holding free, fair, transparent and credible elections. We pray that all the stakeholders in the Burundian Democratic Process also commit themselves to working together to ensure that these objectives are achieved.

We are willing, as a Government, to provide any assistance in the process of building confidence and a conducive environment for the democratic process to move forward. Let us put the interests of the citizens of Burundi above any other partisan or political interests in order to prevent a further escalation of the violence.

The Peace that the people of Burundi have enjoyed over the last decade should be cherished and protected by all its citizens, and we trust that all the stakeholders who have an interest in the country’s peace, stability and prosperity will live under the protection of their constitution and have the chance to exercise their democratic rights and live in peace.

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