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Burundi's main opposition ready to join peace talks

Burundi's main opposition ready to join peace talks

Burundi

A Burundian opposition group that includes exiled politicians on Tuesday said it was ready to join in peace talks, whose first round began in Arusha, Tanzania on Saturday.

The umbrella National Council for the Restoration of Arusha Agreement and Rule of Law – known by the French acronym “CNARED” labeled the dialogue held on Saturday as a monologue, due to the absence of key opposition figures who include some of its members.

Suggesting that their country’s government including the mediator – former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa deliberately excluded their members, CNARED said the talks aimed at ending a year-long political crisis were a waste of time.

Talks should be between Nkurunziza's side and all political parties and civil society grouping opposed to the third term.

“If President Mkapa decided to invite CNARED to the next round of talks, we will respond to his invitation,” CNARED spokesman Pancrace Cimpaye told Reuters.

“Talks should be between Nkurunziza’s side and all political parties and civil society grouping opposed to the third term,” he added.

The group insists it will not accept any post-crisis arrangement that allows the country’s President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in office.

Burundi has been plunged into violence since April 2015, since President Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term. Opponents say his move violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005. The violence has led to loss of hundreds and displaced thousands.

Reuters

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