BUJUMBURA March 29th (ABP) – The President of the Republic of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye and current President of the East African Community (EAC) has asked EALA MPs to combine their efforts to help restore peace and safety in this region.
That appeal was launched to them on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, at the Kigobe Congress Center (Bujumbura), during the opening of the work of the 1st session of the 5th East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), which will take place in Burundi from March 26 to April 7.
In his speech, the Head of State stressed that despite many achievements aimed at promoting the EAC, security in eastern DRC still remains a concern.
President Ndayishimiye also asked EALA deputies to promote the socio-economic development of member countries, and to safeguard the peace and security of member countries. He invited them to put the package in the support of youth development projects because, he said, “young people are the basis of any development of a country”. He also added that, if the EAC gives pride of place to young people, and involves them in the development of countries; it would be an effective strategy to make the community stable.
President Ndayishimiye did not forget to welcome the holding of these meetings on Burundian soil, explaining that it is a sign that shows that peace and security reign in Burundi. He appreciated the role played by the EALA, pointing out that the representation of the peoples at the regional level enables the citizens of the member countries of the EAC to derive the maximum benefits in relation to integration into the community, because the decisions taken have a positive impact on the socio-economic life of the people of the member countries. He gave the example of the EAC treaty on the elimination of non-tariff barriers which aims to allow the free movement of goods and people.
The Speaker of the National Assembly of Burundi Daniel Gélase Ndabirabe indicated that the Parliament of Burundi qualifies the EALA as a scout and a framework for testing democracy and an essential actor in the promotion of good governance and well-being of the peoples of East Africa. According to him, the parliament of Burundi believes that the treaty establishing the EAC should be amended to be able to adjust to the reality of the moment. The Parliament of Burundi also wishes that the channel of collaboration between the EALA and the parliaments of the partner countries be more direct, in order to consolidate their bonds of friendship and cooperation. That rapprochement will allow the people of the member countries of the EAC to better benefit from the dividends which emanate from the EALA, specified Gélase Ndabirabe.
The Speaker of EALA, Joseph Ntakirutimana welcomed the various initiatives of the Head of State of Burundi and President of the EAC in the promotion of relations of friendship and cooperation between Burundi and other countries including those of EAC in particular. He also encouraged the Head of State for his commitment to strengthening peace and security in the region and elsewhere by also sending Burundian troops to the DRC, Somalia, the Central African Republic and elsewhere.
He clarified that the two-week session in Burundi will enable the Burundians to know the role of EALA deputies, explaining that even though EALA has existed since 2001, some citizens of EAC member countries do not have yet known and understood its mission. He asked the Head of State and Chairman of the EAC to allow integration to countries that want to join the East African community such as Somalia and Ethiopia.