Burundi towards a resolution of the crisis: resumption of talks between the Government and the opposition

On Monday, December 28, ceremonies were held to officially reopen the talks between the opposition and the Government of Burundi at the presidential palace of Entebbe in Uganda.

Presided by the Ugandan President Yoweri MUSEVENI, mediator appointed in the Burundian crisis by the states of the East African community, these ceremonies were the occasion for the latter, to urge all stakeholders to find a political solution to the current crisis .

"If God gave me health, why not help the Burundians", said the Ugandan President in his speech, according to the daily Daily Monitor. The Ugandan president also promises to send a team to Burundi to investigate the extrajudicial killings.

talksThese talks were interrupted in July 2015 with the withdrawal of members of the Government two days before the presidential election, which led to the re-election of Burundian President Pierre NKURUNZIZA for a third term in which the opposition, civil society and part of his camp, held to be contrary to the Constitution and the Arusha Accord, ending the civil war in 2006.

Invited to these ceremonies, 70 personalities were present, including members of the Government, members of the opposition, gathered within the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and the Restoration of a Rule of Law in Burundi (CNARED), members of civil society as well as members of the diplomatic corps. According to a statement from the Ugandan mediation at the close of the ceremonies, the talks should continue in Arusha in Tanzania on January 6, 2016.

However, there is still uncertainty. The outcome of this long-awaited dialogue by the Burundians is uncertain, the representatives of the Burundian government said they refused to participate, not recognizing the CNARED as representative of the opposition. These talks should lead to the formation of a government of national unity. But tensions are mounting, and making dialogue difficult because a rebellious group, the 'Republican Forces of Burundi' (FOREBU), have already officially declared themselves on Wednesday 23 December, and say they are ready to oust President Pierre NKURUNZIZA.

Origin of the crisis

to talkSince April 2015, Burundi has been plunged into a deep political crisis born of President Pierre NKURUNZIZA's decision to run for a third term. A brutal crackdown followed. It has already caused hundreds of deaths, according to human rights associations and pushed more than 200.000 people to leave the country, according to the UN. According to the newspaper Le Monde, Burundi is experiencing its umpteenth crisis in 50 years.

The African Union (AU) announced on December 18 that it would deploy an 'African Mission for Prevention and Protection in Burundi' (MAPROBU), 5.000 strong, to try to stem the cycle of genocidal violence. . But the Burundian Government rejected the principle and warned that if the AU were to carry out this deployment without its approval, this mission would be considered as an "invasion and occupation force".

Quentin Iriho, IC correspondent in Burundi.

Photo credit: State House Uganda

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