Monday, June 1, 2015
EASSI calls for peace settlement accord in Burundi
THE Eastern African sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) has called on East African head of States currently sitting in Dar es Salaam to discuss the on-going political crisis of neighbouring Burundi to ensure peace is attained. In their statement they issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam, said that the group members have asked head of states to consider rights of unprivileged groups such as women, children and older people who have been subjected miserably. They have however condemned the continued acts of violence and the deteriorating Human Rights Situation in Burundi occasioned by the contested electoral process in which the incumbent president, His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza is seeking a third Term against Constitutional and democratic principles. The statement further says that, women group members are particularly concerned with the on-going situation in the once ravaged war torn country whose situation has occasioned disruption of normal life of the good people in terms of peace. The women group are also concerned with the denial of the denial of the right to access of information and the freedom of peaceful assembly and deaths of innocent women, men and children.
Burundian President His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza
Other situation that irks women are the resultant stream of refugees flowing into the neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC and Uganda albeit under difficult circumstances due to the denial of the right to movement out of the country for those seeking refugee status. The statement further says that the women group are extremely concerned about the indiscriminate use of small arms and light weapons including grenades on unarmed civilians including women and children. The statement is further quoted as saying that there is the current state of unrest and insecurity in Burundi which has huge potential to push the citizens into extreme poverty, desolation and misery. In view of this the women group has therefore demanded that EAC Heads of State should ensure that, the Burundian President respect the Arusha Accord and the Constitution of Burundi that recognize the two term mandate of the heads of state. Other demands are associated with the restoration of peace, security, and order in Bujumbura prevails in the region. Other demands are to adhere to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the people of Burundi as enshrined in the constitution of Burundi, regional and international legal instruments. The nation should also accord special protection to the vulnerable groups including women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly that are affected by the unrest in line with International standards. Finally, in recognition of the inalienable right to be heard and the right to due process, that all the people arrested and detained as a result of the ongoing unrest in Burundi should be released and their safety guaranteed.