THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) has rejected Burundi’s application to join the bloc and said that Bujumbura did not meet all the necessary requirements.
President Hage Geingob acting in his capacity as the Chairman of the SADC, said that Burundi did not meet the bloc’s admission requirements after yet another assessment.
Burundi’s internal political instability is blamed for this as President Pierre Nkurunziza continues to face allegations of stifling democracy since he ran for a controversial third term in office in 2015 causing outbreaks of political violence. His administration has denied the allegations.
President Geingbob said that the SADC assessment mission visited Burundi, but recommended that it is not yet beneficial for Burundi to be admitted into the SADC due to what he called the unresolved democratic process in that country.
“We are also concerned about the counter-accusations between Burundi and Rwanda about interference in each other’s internal affairs,” Dr. Geingob said
Burundi, alongside Comoros, applied for SADC membership early in 2017. The latter’s application was accepted at the SADC Heads of State summit last year.
Burundi blew its chances of joining SADC because its president, Pierre Nkurunziza, provoked political instability when he took an apparently unconstitutional third term in office in 2015.
The Burundian government also rejected several SADC assessment missions which were necessary to measure how far the country has come to enable it to join the regional bloc.