Burundi: Government of Consensus Formed
Political leaders in Burundi have welcomed the formation of a new more inclusive cabinet as an important step towards bringing the country's last active rebel group into a stalled peace process.
Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza reshuffled the cabinet on 14 November to make room for members of two main opposition parties, the Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) and the Union pour le Progrès National (UPRONA), as the country's constitution stipulates.
Both had been boycotting parliament since July, demanding that the previous cabinet be sacked.
FRODEBU chairman Leonce Ngendakumana said the formation of the new government allows the country's institutions to get back to work.
"We hope that the new government will start where the preceding failed, to speed up the negotiations with the FNL [Forces nationales de libération] and conclude a comprehensive ceasefire," he said.
Burundi's government signed a peace accord with the FNL in September 2006, but the rebel group walked out of the process in July 2007, accusing the mediator of being biased.
UPRONA party chairman Aloys Rubuka said: "What is important is not the individuals appointed but what they would do in the new cabinet to meet Burundians' expectations."
The main challenge, he added, would be the restoration of peace and security, and the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission.
Conflict, Peace and Security
Peacekeeping and Conflict Resolution
The new cabinet has 19 ministers and seven deputy ministers, with the majority appointed from the Conseil National pour la defense de la Democratie-Front pour la Defense de la Democratie (CNDD-FDD).
Its formation results from months of negotiations between Nkurunziza and the FRODEBU and UPRONA leaders to ease the political tension in the country.