Arusha. Inter-Burundi Dialogue facilitator, former president Benjamin Mkapa, yesterday expressed his dismay over the Burundi government’s position on the mediation talks, which have dragged on for nearly three years.
Mr Mkapa said repeated boycotts by the authorities in Bujumbura had frustrated his efforts to expeditiously bring the mediation to a successful conclusion.
The former Head of State, who was opening the fifth round of the dialogue, said he had tried to meet the Burundi government’s demands for postponements, but would now proceed ahead and compile his final report.
“For instance, there is no formal notification from the government of Burundi on attendance,” he lamented.
His remarks came as the talks got underway at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge.
He said Bujumbura had twice requested for adjournment of the negotiations, which he accepted, but had lately called another postponement that he could not accept.
One of the requests was that the on-going dialogue in Arusha should be postponed to next month, almost the same time he is expected to hand over his final report to the East African Community (EAC) leaders and mediator President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.
“The Facilitator could not accept such demands and excuses, hence proceeded to arrange this dialogue,” he told over 60 delegates, many of them opposition politicians and external observers.
He added rather discontented:“I have tried all I could do to bring the government representatives to the talks but without success.”