By Jean Pierre Nkunzimana
BURUNDI has expressed interest in becoming a member of the Commonwealth.
The first vice-president, Dr. Yves Sahinguvu, upon his return from the Commonwealth summit (CHOGM) in Kampala, said his government had not officially forwarded its application but intends to start the process soon.
Burundi was an observer country at the meeting.
â€œWe are in a period of reconstruction and consolidation of peace in our country. We need to be part of an extended partnership.â€
Burundi is currently a member of the Francophonie, an organisation of French-speaking countries.
Rwanda, another Francophonie country, also applied to join the Commonwealth, a body comprising of mainly former British colonies.
Rwandaâ€™s destiny will be determined at the 2009 CHOGM in Port of Spain the capital of Trindad and Tobago.
â€œI do not mind belonging to the French-speaking world and the Commonwealth. We are not alone. There is Cameroon, Mauritius and Canada, which belong to the two worlds,â€ Sahinguvu said.
Meanwhile, the minister for foreign affairs, Antoinette Batumubwira, has submitted her candidacy for chair of the African Union.
The elections will be held in January 2008.