The Burundi government and the opposition resumed talks on Monday in Uganda, under the auspices of the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, as parts of effort to resolve the political crisis in the country.
Representatives of the government, the opposition and the Burundian civil society met at the presidential palace in Entebbe, near the capital Kampala.
“I ask you, in both camps, sit down and find a political solution to end the suffering of the people” in Burundi, said President Museveni, mediator appointed by the East African Community.
The real discussions must start very quickly in Arusha, underlining the strong symbol for the choice of this city
The talks broke down in July, when the government withdrew from the discussions two days before the presidential election, which eventually led to the re-election of the Pierre Nkurunziza.
The African Union welcomed the commencement of the inter-Burundian dialogue, AU chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma called all “the Burundian stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the Mediation”.
We look forward to the start of inter-Burundian dialogue in Uganda on Mon28Dec2015 & urge the Parties to put the interest of #Burundi first.— Amb. Smail Chergui (@AU_Chergui) December 25, 2015
UN says the violence in Burundi have seen some 400 dead and forced more than 200,000 people to flee the country.
According to the AFP diplomatic sources say the meeting in Entebbe is only a prerequisite for the formal resumption of negotiations, which should take place in early January in Arusha, Tanzania.
“The real discussions must start very quickly in Arusha,” underlining “the strong symbol for the choice of this city.” one of the sources, who requested anonymity told AFP.
Arusha between 1998 and 2000, hosted interburundian negotiations that led to the signing of a peace agreement which ended the civil war between the army then dominated by the minority Tutsi and Hutu rebellions.
“irreconcilable” positionsBut “things will not be easy because everyone is aware that the positions are irreconcilable for the moment”, analyst who also requested anonymity also told the AFP.
Foreign Minister Alain-Aimé Nyamitwe led the Burundian government delegation, CNDD-FDD was also represented, as well as its allies. The Cnared, coalition of political parties opposed to the third term was also represented by its President Leonard Nyangoma, who lives in exile. The government has so far refused to discuss with the Cnared, accusing its members of involvement in an attempted coup in May.
“Discussions with Cnared remains a red line for the government,” recalled AFP a member of the government delegation, who requested anonymity.
The spokesman Cnared, Pankration Cimpaye, for his part told AFP that he would “ask first of all an immediate end to the massacres, because you can not negotiate, while people are in the process of be killed. “
“We will insist on an immediate deployment of the mission of the African Union (AU), before a return to constitutional legality that goes through a transition government charged with organizing free and democratic elections,” he added.
The African Union (AU) announced on December 18 that it would deploy an 5,0000 African mission of prevention and protection in Burundi (Maprobu), to try to stop the cycle of violence.
But the Burundian government rejected the principle and warned that if the AU had to carry out this deployment without its approval, this mission would be considered a “forces of invasion and occupation.”