Africa-Burundi: regime rejects Arusha talks date
President Nkurunziza’s regime has rejected regional mediation proposition for January 6 talks in Arusha in Tanzania, calling for postponement, reports say.
“Tomorrow’s talks will not take place! The Burundian government wrote to the Ugandan mediation on December 30 asking it to postpone the meeting to January 15, we are waiting for a response,” a top official at the Burundian presidency said under condition of anonymity.
Willy Nyamitwe, Head of communication at the Burundian presidency also echoed the refusal of the Burundian regime to attend January 6 meeting proposed by the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who is leading the regional mediation in the small eastern African political crisis.
“The Burundian government clearly notified that January 6 date was not a consensus,” Nyamitwe told reporters on Tuesday.
Reports also point out that the opposed camp; the coalition of opposition parties attending the talks also rejected the January 6 proposed date adding that it is too soon for concrete talks after the two rivals sides were convened late December in Uganda for talks under the auspices of President Museveni.
“We have not received any invitation yet which means that tomorrow’s meeting will no longer take place,” Pancrace Cimpaye, spokesman of the coalition said.
Burundi has been embroiled in political crisis which stemmed from civil society and political organisations’ opposition to President Nkrunziza’s plan to run for a third mandate which he eventually won with a landslide victory in an election boycotted by major opposition parties.
The crisis escalated into everyday face-to-face confrontations between security forces and organised youth and groups opposed to the regime. Hundreds of civilians have been killed since beginning for the crisis. Several leaders of the opposition have fled the country in a move to escape the regime’s crackdown.
In the face of the growing political and social unrest the continental organization; the African Union (AU) agreed to send peace keeping troops-the decision was quickly rejected by President Nkrunziza.