On Wednesday, January 20, the Africa Center hosted a roundtable discussion on the current political situation in Burundi with Minister Willy Nyamitwe, Senior Media and Communications Advisor to the President of Burundi and member of the negotiation team that participated in the relaunch of the National Dialogue in Entebbe, Uganda, on December 28, 2015.
Africa Center Director J. Peter Pham welcomed participants and introduced the discussion.
In his remarks, Nyamitwe presented the government’s perspective on the roots of the current political instability, the role of civil society in the country, and the broader regional dynamics of the crisis. He stressed the importance of inclusivity in the national dialogue process and highlighted the government’s willingness to engage broadly with political opponents. Finally, Nyamitwe challenged allegations that recent instability has been ethnically-motivated and called for the United States to support an inclusive political process through diplomatic means.
Other participants in the event included H.E. Ernest Ndabashinze, Ambassador to the United States of the Republic of Burundi; H.E. Ezechiel Nibigira, former Burundian Ambassador to Kenya; current and former senior US officials; and representatives of think tanks and non-governmental organizations.