South Africa has appealed to all the Burundian stakeholders to resolve their differences through dialogue and peaceful means within the framework of the country’s constitution.
This follows an attempted coup against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza this week.
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said on Friday South Africa, as a country that played a critical role in the Burundi Peace Process, will remain seized with the situation and lend support to the efforts of the East African Community.
“The South African government has noted with concern the recent attempt to seize power through unconstitutional means in the Republic of Burundi.
“South Africa condemns in the gest possible terms any attempt to change a democratically elected government through unconstitutional means,” said the Minister at a press briefing in Pretoria.
She said South Africa reaffirms its support for the African Union’s (AU) principle rejection of unconstitutional change of government and its commitment to the rule of law and democratic processes and institutions, as enshrined in the Constitutive Act and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance
The Minister added that South Africa supported the efforts of the leaders of the East African Community and the African Union aimed at assisting the Republic of Burundi to return to constitutional order.
“South Africa regrets the loss of life and appeals to all the Burundian stakeholders to resolve their differences through dialogue and peaceful means within the framework of the country’s constitution and in the spirit of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement,”she said.
Preparations for the AU Summit
An Inter-Ministerial Committee has been set up and is overseeing preparations for South Africa’s hosting of the African Union (AU) Summit in June.
“Several national government departments have come together and meet on a regular basis to ensure that all logistical arrangements are in place for the summit. We are engaging the AU Commission on all the arrangements for the summit, and we are confident that the summit will be a success,” said the Minister.
The AU Summit, to be held in Johannesburg, will focus on the implementation of a number of decisions taken at the January 2015 Summit, which relate to Agenda 2063 and its first ten years implementation plan the state of continental peace and security, including terrorism and alternative sources of funding the AU, among others.
Zimbabwe, as chair of the African Union for 2015, will chair the Summit and its related meetings.
South Africa has also welcomed the passage of the Bill to renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by the US Senate with South Africa being included.
“We have noted that the Bill is extended for a further 10 years as opposed to our initial request of 15 years.
“We have further noted certain provisions in the Bill that affect countries that are eligible for AGOA, including the specific mention of South Africa, which we are currently studying and working on,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.
South Africa has benefitted immensely from AGOA, with 95 percent of exports having entered the US through preferential treatment under AGOA.
Source : SAnews.gov.za