President Robert Mugabe is not guilty of allowing the continued bloodshed in the Burundi conflict during his term as Africa Union chair, his spokesman says while passing the buck to Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.
Mr George Charamba says Mugabe did not neglect Burundi; he defended his boss saying contrary to the said ‘misconception’ that Mugabe did very little to solve the conflict, he actually did all he could within his means but was limited by jurisdiction.
Charamba said “the procedure of the AU is not to run everything from the centre, but rather it is to build from the blocs.”
“The instrument of first intervention is always the regional entity; it is the organ of first instance in conflict resolution. In the case of Burundi, that organ would be the East African Community (EAC) through President (Yoweri) Museveni, which explains why the President of Uganda is the point man for Africa on Burundi,” said Charamba.
Charamba’s remarks come in the wake of concerns at how the Burundi crisis is being addressed by the EAC, with the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield saying that the regional body and Mr Museveni, the EAC appointed mediator, could be blamed if war engulfs Burundi.
“We’re hopeful the AU will become more actively engaged in the process and take this burden away from President Museveni,” Ms Greenfield, who said Mr Museveni was busy with his re-election campaigns, was quoted as telling a Senate panel.
By press time today, efforts to contact President Museveni’s spokesperson Linda Nabusayi were futile.