The United Nations has promised to assist the East African Community (EAC) in tackling conflicts in South Sudan and political unrest in Burundi in efforts to promote peace within the region.
The Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, said that the UN was keen on collaborating with the EAC and other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in conflict prevention and conflict management.
Ms Zewde, who was in Arusha over the weekend, revealed that the United Nations priority was preventive diplomacy in preventing conflicts, adding that it would cooperate with the EAC addressing the conflict in South Sudan, radical extremism in East Africa and supporting Burundi peace process
. The envoy added that the UN mission in Burundi had been through several stages including peacekeeping and a political mission and emphasized the importance of home-grown solutions and mediation in addressing national conflicts, adding that electoral disputes were the cause of political instability in Africa.
She was speaking at the occasion in which her delegation had paid a courtesy call on the EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko, at the EAC Headquarters here.
Ambassador Mfumukeko on the other hand briefed the UN Director General on the progress of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue and the efforts being made by the EA C Secretariat to facilitate the peace talks even further. On the entry of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community, the SG said that the EA C Secretariat was working on a roadmap to integrate the world’s youngest country into the EA C.
The two leaders agreed on the development on a joint EA C-UN Framework on Collaboration in various sectors under which the EA C would identify priorities it would like to be addressed in cooperation with the UN.
Previously, the People’s Republic of China donated 200,000 US dollars to the EA C Secretariat of Arusha as part of support to the ongoing Inter-Burundi Dialogue being facilitated by former President Benjamin Mkapa.
Minister-Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Mr Gou Haodong, used the occasion to reaffirm Beijing’s commitment to the success of the Burundi peace process.
Mr Haodong hailed the EA C for playing a leading role in facilitating the talks, adding that China would continue to support the talks until Burundi realised a genuine and lasting peace.
The Director of Infrastructure at the Secretariat, who received the donation on behalf of the EA C Secretary General, Mr Philip Wambugu, thanked China for its generous contributions, which he said have kept the talks going.