May 26, 2015
Question: — on Burundi? The East African leaders are having a summit at the weekend. Do you think enough has been done – I mean, do you have a supportive role in that? Are you sending anybody? And do you think enough is being done to try to curb that violence?
Mr. Rathke: Well, I would say even in the shorter term, we support the political dialogue that is being facilitated by the UN special envoy, Said Djinnit – that’s occurring in Burundi now – and with – as I understand it – envoys from the African Union, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. So we encourage all stakeholders to continue to participate in good faith in this dialogue and achieve a peaceful resolution.
We also call on the Burundian Government – and you may have seen our statement over the weekend on this. We call on the Burundian Government to provide political space for peaceful and a credible electoral process, including respect for freedom of assembly and expression. We also call on the Burundian Government to permit resumption of broadcasts by independent radio stations. And so I would highlight those steps now, and I think as we go forward this week, we may have more to say on the specific conference.