President Mbeki to witness signing of Burundi Ceasefire Agreement in Tanzania

Cape Town - South African President Thabo Mbeki, supported by Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, will depart South Africa today Wednesday 6 September 2006 for Dar-es-Salaam, capital of Tanzania where he will join the East African regional leadership in witnessing the signing of the Cease-fire Agreement between the government of Burundi and the Paliphehutu-FNL scheduled for Thursday 7 September 2006.

President Thabo Mbeki will participate in this ceremony within the context of South Africa’s commitment to consolidating the African agenda through among others, providing support for post conflict reconstruction and development in the continent in general and the creation of a peaceful, stable and democratic Burundi in particular.

South Africa was honoured and humbled by the request in May this year from the leadership of the East African region of the African Union for SA to continue with mediation efforts in Burundi. In this regard, President Thabo Mbeki appointed South African Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula as the facilitator of this process.

South Africa is of the view that the signing of the agreement will herald a new dawn in the history of Burundi thus laying a firm foundation for all the people of Burundi to participate in the reconstruction and development of their country while laying a basis for sustainable development.

President Thabo Mbeki will join his counterparts from Uganda and Tanzania Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Jakaya Kikwete in witnessing the signing of this historic agreement. President Mbeki is expected to return to South Africa on Friday.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

6 September 2006




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