All parties involved in the Burundi crisis head to Entebbe, Uganda on Monday 28th December, to begin negotiations to end political bloodbath witnessed in the country for several months.
The talks will take place behind closed doors and under the leadership of President Yoweri Museveni who was appointed mediator by the Economic Community of East Africa.
A coalition of all groups opposed to the candidacy of President Nkunrunziza last July, will also take part in discussions.
The Burundian government has changed its position as it accused the movement of being a “terrorist organization” and of being behind the attacks against the security forces and the failed coup in May.
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A previous mediation which was president upon by by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had ended in failure. The Ugandan president was present in Bujumbura and could not reconcile the waring factions before the presidential elections of 25 July and whose legitimacy was contested by the opposition.
Burundian government has been hesitant to the idea of a national dialogue to be held under the auspices of the international community but has since had to bow down to the pressure.
The African Union particularly, alerted to the danger that this internal crisis posed to peace in the region.
In this regard, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said Friday in a statement that: “The deployment of African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU), and implementation of its mandate will allow to considerably defuse current tensions and reduce the level of violence.”
The principle of such a mission has not pleased the Burundian authorities who consider them “forces of invasion and occupation.”
Burundi is has been in a deep political crisis since the end of April, and after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s re-election in July.
At least 70 lives have been lost and about 500 injured according to the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH), which also states that about a thousand people have been arrested since the protests began.
The principle of such a mission has not pleased the Burundian authorities who consider them "forces of invasion and occupation."