Supported by Liberal International President, Hans van Baalen MEP, the Africa Liberal Network General Assembly:
Takes account of information from different independent sources including human rights organisations working in the Great Lakes Region of Africa such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; organisations which defend journalists such as Reporters Without Boarders; and organisations campaigning against corruption such as Transparency International;
Considering the report of the European Commission on the recent elections in Burundi;
In light of the deterioration of the security situation and the increase in the number of human rights violations particularly where the forces of public order were involved;
Taking into account the socio-political disorder in Burundi which risks upsetting the entire Great Lakes Region of Africa;
Considering that the deterioration of the security situation resulted in a contentious election which has still yet to be resolved;
Taking into account the elements of an eloquent testimony just made the Honorable Alice Nzomukunda, former Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi, former Vice-President of the National Assembly, current Africa Liberal Network Vice-President for Central Africa, and President of the Alliance Démocratique pour le Renouveau (ADR), Liberal International member;
The Africa Liberal Network met from 11-13 November in Cape Town, South Africa adopting a resolution on Burundi. The constituent elements are:
1. The Africa Liberal Network regrets that the elections in Burundi were marked by the inability of opposition parties to verify the regularity of the process because of “the results were not publically displayed at polling stations, and political party agents were prevented from obtaining a copy of the report.”(1).
2. ALN regretted that the ruling government and the Independent National Electoral Commission did not listen to the opposition and resolve the electoral dispute in time, thus exacerbating political tensions, the consequences of which are visible to the naked eye;
3. ALN regrets that the electoral process which began on 24 May 2010 was continued in the total absence of opposition;
4. ALN also regrets that even after the election period, the government in Bujumbura rejected any proposal of the opposition parties to begin a political dialogue between partners, even though the country then descended into violence;
5. ALN regrets that the government in Bujumbura used force to resolve political differences;
6. ALN further regrets that Burundi remains a country with a high-level of corruption, seriously hindering any efforts to attract investment or to fight against poverty (4);
7. The Africa Liberal Network condemns the arrests of opposition activists and restrictions on political party activities that marked the pre-election and election period and continues to this day;
8. ALN condemns in the strongest terms the torture and extrajudicial killings criticised by the international community and organizations defending human rights; (2.3)
9. ALN condemns the persecution of leaders of opposition parties, forcing them into exile or underground life;
10. The Africa Liberal Network demands an end to arbitrary arrests, imprisonments, murders of opposition activists and the unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience;
11. ALN calls for an international commission to be established to investigate the killings in all regions of Burundi;
12. ALN calls for the ban on political activities of opposition parties to be lifted and hopes that this will create an atmosphere which will facilitate the return of the leaders in exile or in hiding;
13. The Africa Liberal Network asks the Burundian government to negotiate with opposition parties to find solutions to problems of security, human rights, and to end the electoral disputes;
14. ALN asks donors to suspend direct aid to the Burundian government, and instead to support the Burundian people directly through NGOs, until such a point as real negotiations commence with the coalition of opposition parties: ADC-IKIBIRI.
15. The ALN requests the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and regional organizations, to continue to monitor closely the political and security situation in Burundi.
Cape Town, 13 November 2010