Burundi – Referendum on the revision of the constitution (17 May 2018)

France takes note of the results of the referendum on May 17 in Burundi on the revision of the constitution.

Although, the referendum took place in an atmosphere of relative calm, we deplore the fact that the campaign took place in a climate of intimidation and threats, and even violence, targeted against those opposed to constitutional reform.

The constitutional reforms introduce amendments that are contrary to the Arusha agreement that established an institutionalized system for power sharing between Burundi’s societal elements, calling into question the mechanisms aimed at protecting the Tutsi minority. This reform will not help to resolve the crisis that the country has been experiencing since 2015.

The priority now is to ensure the establishment of national dialogue without conditions or exclusions that will allow all components of Burundian society to express their aspirations. This will only be possible if the government makes gestures that will notably allow the opposition, the media and civil society to play their roles without hindrance. We call on it to take measures to that end in a spirit of inclusiveness.