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…Issues on regional peace and security take centre-stage

East African Legislative Assembly, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 1st November, 2016: EALA Speaker, Rt. Hon. Daniel F. Kidega yesterday paid a courtesy call on the former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Discussions centred on peace and security in the region with H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa ascertaining the region had no option but to ensure tranquil is sustained for its progress and development.

H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa reiterated the need for the Partner States and the Community to stand by each other and to harness the strengths in order for the bloc to progressively move forward.

H.E. Mkapa said the Inter-Burundi dialogue remained a priority of the EAC, stating his intention to separately meet in the coming week with the Chair of the Summit of EAC Heads of State, H.E. Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli and the Mediator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Yoweri Museveni for further consultations.

The Facilitator, H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa expressed hope that the Dialogue process would bring all Burundians to a common understanding that will result in peace, democracy and prosperity in the country.

On his part, the EALA Speaker said that the EAC had a fundamental role to ensure sustenance of peace in all the Partner States.  He remarked that Burundi was showing signs of tranquility, but added that there was increasing need to re-integrate all its citizens.

The Speaker reiterated that one of the issues that underpin integration is that of finding solutions to the problems that may bedevil the Partner States, which he termed as “part of enhancing the bonds of sisterhood”.

He lauded the Summit of EAC Heads of State for recently directing that additional resources geared towards the Inter-Burundi Dialogue be availed. He informed H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa the Assembly was eager and keen to debate and approve a Supplementary Budget on the same.

The Speaker said EALA would also dispatch a team of Members from two Committees, Committee on Trade and Investments and that of Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution to the border of Burundi and Rwanda to investigate on claims of restriction of goods and movement of persons at the border-point.