Just a few hours before the Burundi mediation talks in Arusha, Tanzania, Burundi’s opposition has denounced the dialogue citing political influence and manipulation.
Several opposition political parties of the country said they had not received any invitations to the talks from the mediator, former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.
“The manner in which this round of negotiations was organized was a little flimsy because there is an opinion that says that mediation will first receive the de-facto government and its movement, and it does not specify when the anti-third term will be received,” said Tacien Sibomana, the spokesman for the AMIZERO Y’ABARUNDI coalition.
Sibomana expressed concern about the handling of the mediation by the government in Bujumbura, which it says could discredit the talks. Nationwide talks had began bearing fruits.
The manner in which this round of negotiations was organized was a little flimsy.
For the parties close to the government, resolving the conflict is the priority in this dialogue
Jacques Bigirimana, the president of the FNL party, which is close to the government said: ‘‘What we will do is to show the progress already made here within country, we will demonstrate that even though the Arusha negotiations have not yet begun, we had not been idle.’‘
Hundreds have been killed and a quarter of a million people have left Burundi since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial decision in April 2015 to run for a third term, a vote he won in July and was subsequently sworn in.