There is a glimmer of hope in the latest efforts to end the 10-month-old political crisis in Burundi as President Pierre Nkurunziza and the opposition agree to hold talks.
This follows the intervention of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to get the warring parties to commit themselves to dialogue.
This is a positive development that the rival parties should seize to restore normality.
As Burundi continues to bleed internally, the entire East African region is also suffering.
Burundi, as one of the partner states of the East African Community, plays a pivotal role in the bloc that has forged closer economic and political ties among the five member countries.
Chaos in one of the member states is not only slowing down regional programmes, but also denying a key partner an opportunity to fully engage in efforts to boost integration.
It is to be hoped that the Burundi leaders from both sides of the divide will not only hold talks, but will go ahead and hammer out a pact and jointly implement it.
This is the hard part, as the South Sudan civil strife has shown.
The Burundi leaders must put aside their differences and give peace and reconciliation a chance.