The Burundian government will attend the next round of talks due on Feb. 16-18 in Arusha, Tanzania, in the context of the inter-Burundian dialogue, the Burundian president’s office said Wednesday.
“Burundian citizens from political parties or the civil society, media or religious groups will continue to sit together in an inclusive way to address issues the country is facing,” said Willy Nyamitwe, Burundian President’s Senior Communication Adviser.
According to Nyamitwe, the Burundian government will always support any dialogue initiative in order to find solutions to problems.
The office of former Tanzanian President and facilitator in the Burundian dialogue Benjamin Mkapa said on Feb. 5 on Twitter that the next round of talks was due in Arusha, Tanzania on Feb. 16-18 and is expected “to focus on substantial issues which will, in the end, form an agreement.”
Meanwhile, the National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha Agreement and the Rule of Law in Burundi (CNARED), a platform of the opposition living in exile, said that it would no longer attend talks convened by Mkapa who it accused of “siding” with the Burundian government.
During his visit in Burundi on December 9, 2016, Mkapa stated that Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s rule was “legitimate.”
“Elections were held, court cases were raised including the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) and they all said this is a legitimate process which has come to a legitimate conclusion. People who are against this are foolish,” Mkapa said, referring to the East African country’s 2015 elections during which Nkurunziza won a controversial third term.
Mkapa called on all parties to renounce violence in order to give room to dialogue that would be concluded by June this year.
The East African nation plunged in a crisis since April 2015 when Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.
More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and over 300,000 others fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis. Enditem