The East African Community takes on the Burundi crisis
The East African Community has been a key player in attempts to resolve the ongoing instability in Burundi, since 2014. The organization recognized early on that a crisis was looming, however it waited too long to act at the highest level and was unable to affect key aspects of the crisis, such as the elections in June and July 2015. The coup attempt of 13 May 2015, as EAC heads of state were discussing the crisis at an EAC summit in Dar es Salaam, widened splits along political lines between the member states and undermined a coherent stance and policies on Burundi. The most successful aspects of the EAC’s intervention may be the initiative for a dialogue between key Burundian parties. This article analyzed the role played by the EAC in the quest for a solution to the Burundi crisis. The process which led the organization to take up the Burundi dossier will be examined, the different initiatives within the framework credited to the EAC, how the various parties positioned themselves in Burundi’s low intensity conflict, and the ensuing inter-state tensions, as well as the gaps, weaknesses and contradictions of the EAC’s preventive diplomacy. This study, finally concludes with the prospects for the success of these initiatives, asking whether the organization is willing and able to carry out this mission.