January 27, 2023

A six-member delegation of the largest rebel movement in Burundi, the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD) faction led by Pierre Nkurunziza, arrived in the capital, Bujumbura, on Monday to assess the security situation in the country.

The delegates declined to talk to reports at Bujumbura International Airport, upon arrival from the Tanzanian city of Dar es Salaam. The airport was heavily guarded by a South African unit of the African Union’s peacekeeping force.

The head of CNDD-FDD’s intelligence services, Salvator Ntacobamaze, led the delegation that is expected to remain in the country in the next five days.

Sources told IRIN that the six were expected join the Joint Ceasefire Commission established by the transitional government.

Apart from Nkurunziza’s faction, all the rebel movements that had signed ceasefire agreements with the government have joined the ceasefire commission. Agathon Rwasa’s faction of the Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) remains the only movement that is yet to sign a ceasefire agreement with the government.

The arrival of the CNDD-FDD delegation was one of the measures to which the transitional government and the movement reaffirmed their commitment during a summit on Burundi on 20 July in Dar es Salaam.

Meanwhile, talks between the rebel movement and the transitional government, which were interrupted by the 20 July summit, are due to resume mid-week in Dar es Salaam, the leader of the government’s delegation, Ambroise Niyonsaba, said on Sunday.

He said that at the end of the talks, both sides would sign a “technical force agreement”, detailing power-sharing in new security forces, as a beginning of the integration of rebels into the national army.

“We hope that within the two remaining weeks, an important step in the implementation of the ceasefire agreement will be achieved as both sides showed their will to end the war,” Niyonsaba said on his return from Dar es Salaam.

At the same time, Burundian President Domitien Ndayizeye began on Monday a tour to Tanzania, South Africa and Uganda, the three countries involved in Burundi’s peace process.

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