Perriello, US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, Thomas Perriello says there is a need for both the government and its opponents to be committed to negotiations in a bid to resolve the crisis in Burundi.
We are deeply concerned about the political crisis and the humanitarian crisis. We still believe there is a path forward, but it has to be one in which all Burundian leaders agree to a political dialogue, and the important leadership that the region has shown, through the East African Community, resumes with some urgency to address a situation where you’ve seen approximately over 200,000 [refugees] already and ongoing sporadic violence…Burundians need to continue to hear those calls for calm and the path forward. The United States and the international community are ready to support the regional leadership to force this political dialogue forward that is so important. The point of the dialogue is to address these extremely difficult questions that continue to remain under the surface of the political crisis. But, people need to come to the table. We’ve seen very constructive steps forward when the East African Community and South Africa and others have been a constructive part of this. So, we are eager to resume that and stand ready to support it.