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Cablegate: 1st Vp Says Peace with Fnl Critical First Step

VZCZCXRO7271
PP RUEHGI RUEHRN
DE RUEHJB #0244 1360557
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150557Z MAY 08 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0938
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 0008
RHMFISS/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BUJUMBURA 000244

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/C

E.O 12958: /
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL BY
SUBJECT: 1ST VP SAYS PEACE WITH FNL CRITICAL FIRST STEP

REF: BUJUMBURA 200

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Following a request from Ambassador
Moller for a meeting, First Vice-President Dr. Yves Sahinguvu
told the Ambassador on May 8th that:
-- the Government of Tanzania (GOT) is the key to solving the
PALIPEHUTU-FNL (FNL) problem;
-- the Government of Burundi (GOB) is ready to grant
constitutionally permissible governmental positions to the
FNL;
-- the numerous splits among political parties in the
National Assembly means that additional, cumbersome
negotiations are required to overcome the stalemate; and
-- while all parties are positioning themselves for 2010
elections, peace with the FNL is the critical first step to
assuring a successful 2010 election.
This meeting is one in a series of discussions with political
leaders addressing the tensions exacerbated by the recent FNL
armed attacks and the stalemate in the National Assembly that
has effectively blocked legislative progress. END SUMMARY.

2. (SBU) Sahinguvu told the Ambassador that the Government
of Tanzania holds the key to resolving the FNL problem, as
the GOT harbors and finances the FNL leadership in Dar es
Salaam. According to Savhinguvu, the only way that the FNL
will be forced to act will be if the GOT pressures the FNL
leadership to return to Bujumbura or face reduced support in
Dar. However, he said there is political gamesmanship at
play between the South African Government and the GOT, and it
would be unfortunate if progress in the peace process was
limited by external politics. Sahinguvu speculated that the
FNL conducted its April 17 (reftel) attack on Bujumbura in an
effort to rally unhappy demobilized soldiers against the
current administration. However, the GOB remains open to the
idea of granting certain government positions to the FNL
through the negotiating process.

3. (SBU) The current stalemate in the National Assembly is a
result of the competing interests among different parties,
according to the First Vice President. Sahinguvu said that
it is indeed possible for the ruling National Council for the
Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy
(CNDD-FDD) to re-establish a majority if they negotiate and
ally themselves with other political parties. However, he
cautioned that the increasing number of divisions within
various political parties is making it extremely difficult to
negotiate, as each splinter group demands significant
attention. Sahinguvu was adamant however that the
Constitution not be changed to accommodate these cases as it
is based on the comprehensive framework for Burundi's future
established in the 2000 Arusha Accords.

4. (SBU) Sahinguvu acknowledged that politicians and others
are already engaged in preparing for 2010 elections, and
expressed confidence that Burundi would host successful
elections if peace with the FNL is achieved, an independent
electoral commission is established, and all parties agree on
an election procedure. However, Sahinguvu reiterated that
the most critical component to successful elections is peace
with the FNL.
MOLLER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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