The Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) in charge of Political Federation, Beatrice Kiraso, has said that the electoral process in member states is vital in testing how far the bloc can solve its own problems and reduce conflict.
While speaking at the launch of Africa Union’s Year of Peace in Bujumbura, Kiraso said the peaceful elections in the region can be achieved through engagement.
“The region should not accept those craving for power or resources and leaving behind a generation of orphans and widows”
“We must say no more widows and orphans”
She commended Burundi for the efforts already undertaken to foster peace and development as the country heads into its second post-conflict general elections scheduled for May.
“The deepening of the integration process, with the successful implementation of the Customs Union and the signing of the Common Market Protocol are all initiatives intended to provide space and vents for East Africans to realize the potential within a wider physical and economic space should be supported by minimizing possible situations of instability.” she said.
She mentioned that other programs in the region that deal with Human Rights, anti-corruption, Rule-of-Law and administration of justice, are all intended to minimize situations of instability within the bloc.
During the ceremony over 1000 hand guns and tons of ammunition surrendered by former rebels were destroyed.
Speaking during the ceremony, the Executive Secretary of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, said the destruction of illicit arms was a necessary step to restore peace, unity and bring about development in Burundi.
“We fully support the exercise and urge other citizens who have not surrendered their arms to follow suit,” she said.