THE East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is expected to discuss the humanitarian situation in Burundi during its sitting which is starting on Monday in Arusha, Tanzania.
The East African partner state descended into bloodshed in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term, which he eventually won.
More than 400 people have died in the violence and at least 230,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
“The issue of the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Burundi is also expected to be a matter of discussions at EALA should the Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution Committee complete and present its Report on the Petition by the Pan-African Lawyers Union (PALU) concerning the political situation in Burundi,” a statement from Arusha said.
Last week, the Committee held a public hearing workshop in Arusha where it listened to the PALU petition as well as to the contributions by other stakeholders comprising of the representatives of Civil Society Organisations and the opposition parties in Burundi.
The Committee is expected to listen to representatives of the Government of Burundi on January 25, 2016, who requested to be considered to appear before it after January 18, 2016. Thereafter, it will retreat to prepare its report to the Assembly for debate.
UN Security Council ambassadors headed to Burundi on Wednesday to push the government to open up serious talks with the opposition and agree to an African Union force that could prevent a slide to all-out war.
The Forth Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Third Assembly takes place from Monday, January 24, 2016 to Friday, February 5, 2016.
Also on top of the agenda is debate on the EAC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013.
The Objective of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Bill, 2013 is to provide a legal framework at regional and national level for timely intervention in disaster situations and to protect the people and the natural environment affected by disaster through comprehensive disaster risk reduction and management.
The Bill which was due for the 3rd reading at the 4th meeting of the 2nd Session in Kampala, Uganda in January 2014, was adjourned following a request by the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers, citing the need to consult the relevant provisions of the Treaty and to allow for pursuit of the ratification of the EAC Protocol on Peace and Security.
The said Protocol among other objectives, provides for co-operation in DRR management and crisis response.
The House is further expected to consider a report of the General Purpose Committee on a petition on work and residence permit, submitted by the East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) and the East African Employers Organisation (EAEO).
The petition amongst other things, states the desire of workers and employers to see the Common Market Protocol fully implemented to enhance productivity.
The petitioners further call for standardization of the processes of issuance of work permits, pending their eventual removal in the long-run.
The General Purpose Committee has since met with the employers and prepared its report which is to be debated by the House.