The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has rejected Burundi’s application to join the bloc, saying Bujumbura did not meet all the requirements.
Through a statement issued last week on Tuesday quoted the SADC chair, Namibian President Hage Geingob, as saying that Burundi did not meet the bloc’s admission requirements after the latest assessment.
While Speaking in Tanzania, President Geingbob said, “The SADC assessment mission was in Burundi, but recommended that it is not yet beneficial for Burundi to be admitted into SADC,” due to what he called the unresolved democratic process in that country.
We are also concerned about the counter-accusations between Burundi and Rwanda about interference in each other’s internal affairs,” the Namibian leader said.
The latest assessment mission to Burundi was undertaken from May 18 to 25.
Burundi’s application to join SADC was seen as its “Plan B” as it continues to face challenges in the other regional blocs it has membership in, namely the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
President Nkurunziza has missed most of the EAC Heads of State Summits since 2015 and, late last year, the absence of a Burundian delegation torpedoed the 20th Summit in Arusha.
The summit had been postponed twice after Burundi’s boycott of the November 2018 meeting, which was rescheduled to December but failed to take place.
Burundi has not been making budgetary contributions to the EAC and is said to owe more than $12 million. Its commitment to the bloc has therefore come into question due to the persisting default.