Burundi’s SADC membership rejected over political instability


Burundi’s application to join the Southern African Development Council (SADC) has been rejected over concerns about the country’s political instability and ongoing tensions with neighbouring Rwanda.

SADC chairperson and Namibian President, Hage Geingob, said in a statement last week that “the SADC assessment mission was in Burundi but recommended that it is not yet beneficial for Burundi to be admitted into SADC.”

Burundi fails to meet criteria

Burundi’s current political situation failed to meet the new compliance requirements for joining the SADC, which centre around observing democratic principles, maintaining human rights and meeting expectations of good governance.

The democratic process in Burundi remains unclear following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid in 2015, despite a two-term limit being in place at the time. The government has since backed efforts to scrap term limits, which could pave the way for Nkurunziza to extend his time in office even further.

Burundi’s ongoing diplomatic dispute with neighbouring Rwanda was also considered in the review of its application, according to reports.

Featured image: By AMISOM Public Information – Flickr, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41441222

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.