East African Community (EAC) leaders have strongly condemned the attempted coup in Burundi.
The leaders said they did not accept the coup and called for a speedy return to constitutional order in that country.
“The summit is of the view that the coup does not solve the problem of Burundi,” the leaders said today in a statement read by host President Jakaya Kikwete who is also the chair of the EAC.
Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda attended the daylong summit convened in the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam to discuss the political and security situation in Burundi.
The EAC leaders said the elections in Burundi should be postponed but not beyond the mandate of the current government.
“Looking at the situation in Burundi, we have all agreed that the conditions in that country are not conducive for elections to be held now as scheduled by the National Electoral Commission,” President Kikwete said.
The leaders assured that the region will continue to consult with all the stakeholders to ensure that the situation in Burundi normalizes and elections are held in free, fair and peaceful manner according to the Constitution and the electoral laws of Burundi and in the spirit of the Arusha accord.
The summit also condemned the violence and urged all parties involved in the Burundi dispute to stop the conflict.
“The region will not accept nor standby and watch if violence does not stop,” the EAC leaders said.
The leaders will meet again in two weeks’ time to review the situation in Burundi, the summit resolved.
Although President Pierre Nkurunziza was in Dar es Salaam he did not attend the EAC Heads of State summit.
The meeting was also attended by African Union Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, South Africa Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region Said Djinnit among others.