Opposition rejects UN talk invitations in Burundi

Opposition groups in Burundi reject UN-led talks with government

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The UN special envoy Said Djinnit’s invitation to opposition groups for talks over Burundi crisis was rejected on Tuesday, AP has reported.

The opposition groups have sent a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing their distrust in Djinnit.

According to AP, the opposition believes Djinnit has been supporting Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for third term.

The presidential spokesman of Burundi, Willy Nyamitwe accused opposition groups of being immature after they neglected Djinnit’s efforts to end political crisis.

Burundi has been hit by weeks of civil unrest as the country’s opposition wants Nkurunziza to withdraw his third-term presidential bid in the upcoming June 26 elections, claiming it violates the country's constitution and the Arusha Accords, a peace deal that ended an over decade long ethnic civil war in 2005.

More than 40 people have been killed and 500 wounded since April, during protests opposing Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term.

Burundi’s constitution limits the presidency to two terms in office, but Nkurunziza's supporters say he can run again because his first term was picked by lawmakers and not by elections.

A general from the Burundian army attempted a coup last month while Nkurunziza was in Tanzania for talks over the protests in Burundi. The coup attempt failed and Nkurunziza has since ignored international pressure, including aid cuts, aimed at forcing him to reconsider.

More than 100,000 people have fled to neighbouring nations since the political violence that culminated in last week's foiled coup attempt erupted in April, according to the UN.

TRTWorld and agencies