President Hage Geingob yesterday revealed that the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc), of which he is chairman, has rejected the latest application by Burundi to become part of the regional bloc.
Burundi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ezechiel Nibigira paid a courtesy call on President Geingob in April to trump up support for his country’s attempt to become a member of Sadc. The regional body’s evaluation team visited Burundi this month for inspections on whether the country meets the requirements before being admitted as Sadc member.
But Burundi has for the past few years failed to meet the admission requirements.
Much of this is attributed to the fact that Burundi first needed to resolve the internal political instability that Nkurunziza is alleged to have provoked in 2015 when he sought a third term in office.
Sadc is seen as one of the most stable and attractive regional economic communities in Africa.
Nibigira, during his engagement with Geingob last month, insisted that Burundi is a peaceful country and respects the rule of law, adding that Nkurunziza’s hold onto power was attained through democratic means.
The country is currently preparing for the 2020 national elections but Nkurunziza has revealed he will not stand as a candidate, the envoy said.