Former Tanzanian President Benjamin William Mkapa, as facilitator of the Inter-Burundi Dialogue, announced the formal dialogue would commence next week after completion of consultative talks.
The convening of the session follows rigorous consultations the facilitator made with various stakeholders within and outside Burundi, after which he identified an 8-point agenda agreed to be the main sticking points that he reported to the Summit in September 2016.
In this initial phase of the dialogue that is by and large a political process, the facilitator will invite some political parties and political actors to whom he will introduce the unpacked 8-point agenda to determine areas of convergence and divergence.
Other stakeholders like civil society organizations, religious groups and women and youth will be invited in later sessions for a similar purpose. It is the expectation of the facilitator that, in the initial dialogue, the participant will draw up an outline of the would-be agreement, which will be continuously refined until it is agreed upon by all stakeholders and can be signed as a final agreement hopefully in June 2017. Enditem