Burundi says it is ready for SADC membership

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Burundi is pushing for membership of the 16-member South African Development Community and has invited a team from the bloc to evaluate its readiness and report to the Summit.

Burundian Foreign Affairs Minister Ezechiel Nibigira last week visited the chair of the SADC Summit, Namibian President Hage Geingob, and said the country is ready to receive the team in May.

In 2017, Burundi and Comoros applied for membership in SADC, but after scrutiny, Burundi’s application was put on hold, as Comoros became the 16th member of the regional bloc.

Mr Nibigira said that the country has regained stability since 2015, when it was hit by a political crisis that resulted to the killing of almost 1,000 people and left hundreds of thousands displaced.

The application in 2017 was assessed first by the Inter-state Politics and Diplomacy Committee of SADC’s organ on politics, defence and security co-operation.

The Council of Ministers meeting in February 2017 ruled out immediate admission of the country, arguing that Burundi was politically unstable.

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