BUJUMBURA, (Xinhua) --
The Burundian government has boycotted the 20th
summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
that kicked off Wednesday in the Zambian capital Lusaka, calling
the summit “illegal”, Burundian media reported Wednesday.
The COMESA summit
was relocated to Lusaka from Burundian capital Bujumbura without
sound reasons, Radio Isanganiro Wednesday quoted Alain Diomede
Nzeyimana, deputy-spokesman of the Burundian president, as
should have been decided by three presidents of Burundi,
Ethiopia and Madagascar, members of the Bureau of the COMESA
heads of state summit, but it had not been the case, he said.
that participants in the two-day summit went to Lusaka for their
“personal” interests as the COMESA gets over 50 percent of its
funding from the European Union (EU).
government has written to the COMESA secretariat, requesting a
refund of the money used for preparing to host the summit and
compensation, he said.
Burundi will “not
acknowledge” conclusions and resolutions from the Lusaka summit,
In May, the COMESA
secretariat decided to relocate its 20th summit that
had been planned to take place in Burundi earlier in June.
government had said the decision to relocate the venue of the
COMESA summit was a “lack of respect” to a sovereign state.
secretariat later relocated the summit to Lusaka, where the
headquarters of the COMESA secretariat is located.
The COMESA is the
largest regional economic organization in Africa, with 19 member
states and a population of about 390 million. It has a free
trade area and launched a customs union in 2009.