Special Envoy Thomas Perriello's Travel to Burundi and the Great Lakes Region

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 6, 2015

Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will travel to Burundi November 8-11 to express urgent concerns over the political and security crisis there. He will communicate the U.S. government’s alarm at violence by government and non-government actors inside of Burundi, and the recent dangerous rhetoric by the Burundian government surrounding the expiration of President Nkurunziza’s five-day ultimatum to turn over all illegal arms. He will also call for all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to follow through on commitments to dialogue.

While in Burundi, Special Envoy Perriello will reiterate the United States’ strong support for regional efforts to reconvene a dialogue amongst Burundian stakeholders under Ugandan President Museveni’s facilitation, and as supported by the East African Community and the African Union (AU). He will stress the importance of regional leadership in calming tension and pulling Burundi back from the brink, as well as the readiness of the United State to support the region’s efforts.

The Envoy also intends to visit Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia between November 11 and 18, to consult with regional leaders on restoring stability to Burundi and emphasize the United States’ belief that a comprehensive, inclusive dialogue, as laid out in the AU’s October 17 communique, is the best means of doing so.

The Envoy will conclude his trip in Rome where he will meet with representatives from the Vatican and the Community of Sant’Egidio, to discuss regional peace efforts.