Burundi president agrees to hold talks

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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Bujumbura – Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza has agreed to hold talks to end a 10-month-old crisis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday, but the main opposition group dismissed the plan as a “false opening”.

After meeting with Nkurunziza as well as government and some opposition politicians, Ban said that all sides had agreed to “inclusive dialogue” and that the president “confirmed, that he would engage in political dialogue.”

But hours later the influential CNARED umbrella opposition group – whose leaders are in exile – dismissed the talk of talks, angered by Nkurunziza’s apparent attempt to choose who should participate.

“This dialogue concerns all Burundians, except those engaged in acts of destabilisation,” Nkurunziza said after Ban’s visit, prompting CNARED to accuse the president of being disingenuous.

“It is a false opening because, in effect, the president told the UN Secretary General that he accepts inclusive dialogue and then immediately afterwards wants to choose his interlocutors, accusing some of disrupting security,” CNARED chair Leonard Nyangoma told AFP.

“He says one thing and then its opposite,” Nyangoma said. “It is clear Nkurunziza does not want real negotiations to bring peace to Burundi.”

Nyangoma added that the International Criminal Court should open an investigation into the “numerous crimes against humanity committed by Nkurunziza’s forces”.

While in Burundi the UN chief had called on the country’s political leaders “to summon the courage and the confidence that will make a credible political process possible,” Ban said.

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