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Burundi opposition criticises Nkurunziza's 'inclusive dialogue'

Burundi opposition criticises Nkurunziza's 'inclusive dialogue'


The Burundian opposition in the diaspora has criticised president Pierre Nkurunziza’s announcement on Tuesday that he is ready to hold talks with the country’s opposition.

According to the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement and the Rule of law in Burundi (CNARED), the president’s announcement is “false”.

Chairman of the opposition coalition based in the diaspora, Leonard Nyangoma explained to the AFP that “it is a false move because the de facto president told the UN Secretary General that he accepts inclusive dialogue” yet turns around to “accuse people of disturbing the peace”.

“He says one thing and does the opposite, because the inclusive dialogue involves all those affected by the crisis in Burundi,” he insisted.

The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon was in Burundi on Monday for talks with the Burundian leader who has rejected a peacekeeping force from the African Union.

After meeting with Mr. Nkurunziza on Tuesday, Ban Ki-moon told the press that the Burundian leader had agreed to talks with the opposition.

President Nkurunziza who confirmed his desire for the talks added that “we have shown our commitment to the announcement to free 2,000 prisoners, excluding those accused of disturbing the peace.”

The CNARED leader said “it is clear Nkurunziza does not want real negotiations to bring peace to Burundi, and this is why we call on the international community to take appropriate measures to compel him.”

The group wants the international community to “impose an embargo on arms and ammunition (and) the withdrawal of Burundian contingents in peacekeeping missions in Somalia and the Central African Republic, for it is this money that Nkurunziza uses today to suppress his people”.

Nyangoma also wants the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court to “start investigating numerous crimes against humanity committed by Nkurunziza’s administration and the perpetrators prosecuted.”

Burundi has been in a deep political crisis since April 2015 when President Nkurunziza announced his intension to run for a third term in office.

The violence has claimed more than 400 lives and forced more than 240,000 people to leave the country, including many opponents, activists and journalists.

Founded in August 2015, CNARED is the main opposition platform in Burundi and in exile. It includes all political parties opposed to the third term of President Nkurunziza except the National Liberation Forces (FNL) of Agathon Rwasa.