France calls for inclusive national dialogue in Burundi
Press briefing by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpts)
Paris, 23 May 2018
Burundi – Referendum on the revision of the constitution (17 May)
France takes note of the results of the referendum on 17 May in Burundi on the revision of the constitution.
Although the referendum took place in an atmosphere of relative calm, we deplore the fact that the campaign took place in a climate of intimidation and threats, and even violence, targeted against those opposed to constitutional reform.
The revision of the constitution introduces amendments that are contrary to the Arusha agreement, which established an institutionalized system for power-sharing between Burundi’s societal elements, calling into question the mechanisms aimed at protecting the Tutsi minority. This reform will not help to resolve the crisis that the country has been experiencing since 2015.
The priority now is to ensure the establishment of national dialogue without conditions or exclusions, and this will allow all components of Burundian society to express their aspirations. This will only be possible if the government makes gestures, particularly by allowing the opposition, the media and civil society to play their roles without hindrance. We call on it to take measures to that end in a spirit of unity. (...)./.