The East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) have this morning jointly launched Round-Tables for Consolidating Regional Stability through Peaceful Elections in the Republic of Burundi at the Royal Palace Hotel, in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Themed Peaceful Elections in Burundi for Regional Integration, the COMESA-EAC Roundtables are joint dialogue initiatives/activities geared towards promoting a peaceful environment for elections, prevent elections-related violent conflict and support a smooth transition during and after the 2015 elections in Burundi.

Launching the Roundtables, the First Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, HE Prosper Bazombanza commended the EAC and COMESA Secretariats for organizing the important dialogue roundtables at the right time when Burundi was heading towards General Elections from May 2015.

The First Vice President reiterated the region’s a firm desire to see democratic, peaceful and stable elections in the Partner States and commended the two Regional Economic Communities for the role they have played and continue to play in supporting the consolidation of democracy, peace and stability in Burundi.

The First Vice President welcomed the inclusive roundtable as it gave the Barundi people another opportunity to share experiences, to dialogue on the pertinent issues, and to outline the initiatives that should be taken by various stakeholders as the election approaches “in order for us to achieve the goals we want”.

“It goes without saying that it is the values of dialogue and inclusion that are of the essence during this period, and which will enhance reconciliation efforts and help to build consensus among Burundians for a better tomorrow” affirmed HE Prosper Bazombanza.

The Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera noted that Elections were a process, and not an event; thus it was imperative that all the stakeholders stay involved in this process. He called on all stakeholders to fully participate in the Roundtable dialogue and to send out a strong message of peace to the people of Burundi.

“The EAC calls on all the stakeholders to put the interests of Burundi and Burundians first”, and the focus of EAC and COMESA is to walk alongside the people of Burundi before, during, and after the elections. “Peaceful elections are essential for the country as it integrates more into EAC and COMESA, and together we are committed to achieving the dream of greater social, political and economic development of Burundi” not Amb. Sezibera.

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