Burundi Back in the Official French-Speaking World
The International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) will fully resume its multilateral cooperation with Burundi — officially reintegrated into the bodies of the after four years of suspension.
The country’s return to the French-speaking world comes after four years of suspension, a consequence of the socio-political crisis within the nation since 2015 — born of the will of former President Pierre Nkurunziza to seek a third term.
As announced by the representative of Burundi to the Francophonie, Ernest Niyokindi, the decision was taken during the 112th session of the Permanent Council of the Francophonie (CPF), held virtually on November 4 and 5 2020.
The leading body, coordinator and arbiter of the action of the OIF also said it had taken note of “the commitments made by the new authorities in favour of the well-being, independence, daily security of Burundians, as well as the guarantee of their rights and freedoms.”
On 20 May 2020 in Burundi, the CPF welcomed the holding of general elections (presidential, legislative and communal), which resulted in the election of a new president, the establishment of new authorities and a new parliament.
A significant step following around five years of a politically-challenging state of affairs in the country. A violent crisis that saw the death of nearly a thousand people and displaced hundreds of thousands of Burundians in several neighbouring countries.
The situation, which “despite the significant efforts made by the international community, of progress in the establishment of a truly inclusive political dialogue,” according to the OIF, was deplored by the organisation who in April 2016 — following the United States and the EU, decided to suspend multilateral francophone cooperation deployed in Burundi, except for programmes that directly benefit the civilian population and those that can contribute to the restoration of democracy.
Burundi joined the Francophonie in 1970, eight years after gaining independence from Belgium.