This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part III. Enjoy!
“SAG Special Envoy to the Great Lakes, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo, to discuss recent developments concerning the possible resumption of peace talks between the CNDD-FDD government and the Palipehutu-FNL after a six month stalemate” (…) “Mamabolo appeared to lay equal blame on both sides for the most recent stalemate. The FNL, Mamabolo believes, was never really ready to compromise. Instead, he suspects the FNL backed out of the last peace deal because they wanted more time to collect weapons and recruit more soldiers in order to ensure themselves higher-ranking positions in the military” (…) “Mamabolo also said Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s refusal to offer cabinet-level positions, Ambassadorships, or Directorships to the FNL contributed to the breakdown of past negotiations” (…) “Mamabolo mentioned several times as an example of a good faith measure that Nkurunziza could “make up a cabinet position like Minister of State,” for FNL leader Agathon Rwasa” (…) “Tanzanian President Kikwete “realizes that Mamabolo is biased and that past negotiations have been unfair.” (…) “Mamabolo described Rwasa as a “figure-head like Mandela is to the ANC; the party needed his buy-in even though he was not always pulling the strings.” Mamabolo believes that FNL Spokesperson Pasteur Habimana is instead pulling the strings” (…) “The SAG was granted on 03 February a twelve-month extension from the African Union to continue peace negotiations between the CNDD-led government and the FNL. Mamabolo said the SAG is looking at integrating all factions of the FNL within the next six months and then assessing when SAG troops can come home” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
Peace Talks Part II:
“Mamabolo said he was “optimistic” about the prospects for peace. For the first time, the South African Facilitation team is meeting with FNL commanders “from the bush,” which Mamabolo takes as a sign of seriousness on the part of the FNL. However, the FNL continues to raise some difficult demands, including the two key issues of (1) integration of senior FNL leaders into GOB political structures, and (2) integration of FNL combatants into the Burundian military, including the military leadership” (…) “Mamabolo noted that it would be difficult for President Nkurunziza to “give” the FNL ministries, since other parties — who already are unhappy with the power-sharing arrangements — would cry foul. Nkurunziza is “hiding behind the Constitution” to avoid these unsavory political choices” (…) “He noted that elections are scheduled for 2010, so this would be merely a transitional arrangement. As an aside, Mamabolo said that he believes the FNL has popular support and might do well in the 2010 elections. On military integration, Nkurunziza said that the CNDD-FDD “left room” for the FNL in the military structures, so that military integration should not be too difficult” (…) “After a rocky patch in late 2007, the South African Facilitation appears to have repaired its relationship with the FNL and is committed to concluding the peace process in 2008, in part because the SAG is tired of paying for the deployment of 750 troops in Burundi” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
UN on Peace Talks:
“The US appreciates the efforts by the UN Integrated Office of Burundi, Executive Representative for Burundi Youssef Mahmoud, and the Peacebuilding Commission to enhance stability and security in Burundi” (…) “First, we are hopeful that negotiations this month between Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza and rebel group PALIPEHUTU-FNL Chairman Agathon Rwasa will remove stumbling blocks to the stalled peace process” (…) “South Africa,s mandate to conclude the peace process expiring on December 31, 2008, we share South Africans optimism that the peace process will be concluded by that point” (…) “Secondly, the U.S. is pleased to recall Burundi,s generally free and fair 2005 elections. As Burundi prepares for national elections in 2010, we encourage the government and civil society to create the mechanisms necessary to: — establish a transparent, impartial and inclusive Electoral Commission; — educate Burundi,s people concerning their rights and obligations in a democratic society; — promote active debate and dialogue among political parties, constituents and civil society; and — support an independent and unbiased media” (…) “the U.S. commends the efforts of the Government of Burundi, UNHCR and partner agencies to repatriate and reintegrate Burundi refugees. The U.S. will continue to support UNHCR,s Burundi repatriation program as well as the activities of non-governmental organizations providing reintegration assistance to Burundi returnees” (…) “we encourage the technical committee for the National Consultations on Transitional Justice to keep the public informed about its work and to ensure that its membership reflects the diversity of Burundi’s political parties and civil society” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
Wise Man Council:
“In order to successfully negotiate with the FNL, the Bashingatahe representatives recommended that President Nkurunziza become personally involved in negotiations, and that the international community vigorously support such efforts. Further, the representatives stated the Burundian public needs to take ownership of the problem with the FNL and encourage Burundi’s leaders to resolve the current dispute between the government and the rebels” (…) “Bashingatahe representatives counseled that while the 2010 election campaign is already underway, peace with the FNL is essential to assuring that 2010 elections are free and fair. In addition to concluding a peace agreement with the rebels, the GOB must establish a transparent, neutral and independent electoral commission that can responsibly ensure a transparent electoral process. Voter education and preparation is another important requirement for guaranteeing a free and democratic election, as the principles of democracy and political campaigning are new to many Burundian citizens” (WikiLeaks, 2008).
The way the information about the Peace Talks can only be said as being interesting. The journey of Pierre Nkurunziza, but seeing the loose from the international partners is hurting to see. I think you’ll enjoy the fourth and last of the series! Peace.
WikiLeaks – ‘MAMABOLO SAYS FNL AND GOB ON BOARD WITH PEACE PLAN’ (07.03.2008) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08PRETORIA475_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘GUIDANCE FOR UNSC CONSULTATIONS ON BURUNDI AUGUST 26’ (22.08.2008) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08STATE90896_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘SAG NEGOTIATOR OPTIMISTIC ABOUT BURUNDI PEACE TALKS’ (07.02.2008) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08PRETORIA250_a.html
WikiLeaks – ‘WISE MAN’S COUNCIL SAYS DON’T MISS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEACE’ (15.05.2008) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08BUJUMBURA253_a.html