Burundi peace talks suspended

Ugandan peace talks mediator for Burundi says process suspended as result of government’s fail to show up

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Peace talks mediator for Burundi said the talks to end violent political crisis in the country ahead of next week’s poll were suspended on Sunday due to the government’s failure to show up.

Burundi has been plagued with violence since April after the governing National Council for the Defence of Democracy named incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for June presidential elections.

If elected Nkurunziza would be in office for a third term. But the constitution limits the post to two terms.

Nkurunziza's supporters say he can run again because he was elected by the parliament, not the people, in his first presidential term, a claim also backed by country’s constitutional court.

Nkurunziza delayed parliamentary elections which were set for May 26, after nearly a month of anti-government demonstrations and a failed military coup in the east African state.

Ugandan Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga chaired the failed talks who said its was not clear why the Burundian government stayed away from the talks, adding they would resume the process when the government is ready.

Kiyonga was appointed as the mediator of the crisis by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who chaired the first day of the talks before leaving his defence minister to carry on the task last week.

Kiyonga said they have reached some agreements during the talks before it was halted on Sunday, including the disarmament of illegal groups, giving no further information about which groups he was referring.

"The disarmament should be observed and assisted by the African Union military and human rights experts," Kiyonga said.

The United Nations said on Thursday that the violence in Burundi, resulting from the political crisis and the presidential elections are likely to trigger major instability and heavier clashes which could spread across the country’s borders.

Many people died during the clashes, with one man being burned alive during a massive demonstration and hundreds injured whilemore than 100,000 people had to flee in Bujumbura since the beginning of the protests.

TRTWorld and agencies