The Burundi government is prepared to take part in a “final” session of crisis talks with the opposition, expected to be held in Uganda next month, the foreign minister announced on Saturday despite earlier official word that the dialogue was over.
“We are preparing to take part in the fifth round of talks,” foreign minister Ezechiel Nibigira said in a video put online by the Iwacu newspaper.
“Burundi thinks this will be the final round” of talks, the minister said.
His comments come days after the UN Security Council criticised the slow progress in talks between Burundi’s government and the opposition despite President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision not to seek re-election in 2020.
In a unanimous statement, the council welcomed Nkurunziza’s announcement, but added that “additional progress will be necessary for credible elections” to be held in two years.
The east African (EAC) bloc of countries is seeking to broker a political deal between the government and the opposition to end the crisis that erupted in 2015 when Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term.
Nkurunziza’s decision to run for re-election plunged Burundi into violence that left 1 200 people dead and drove 400 000 from to their homes. The International Criminal Court last year opened an investigation for grave crimes committed in Burundi.
So far the government has refused to hold talks with some opposition groups that it brands terrorists, despite a mediation set up by regional countries under former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa.
According to a diplomatic source, Mkapa wants to organise a fifth and last round of talks, seen as a final chance for a negotiated settlement, in the central Ugandan town of Entebbe in the last week of September.
The fourth session of Burundi political dialogue, held in late 2017 without the participation of the opposition in exile, ended without agreement.
The UN Security Council statement on Wednesday stressed that elections in Burundi must be “free, fair, transparent, peaceful and fully inclusive, with the participation of all political parties,” and ensure the full participation of women.
President Nkurunziza has been accused of sliding towards authoritarianism since he came to power in 2005 at the end of Burundi’s brutal civil war.
Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says the government is committed to improving the country’s civil aviation infrastructure. He credited the industry with enhancing the country’s economy and national development.
He said at the eleventh forum of the international civil aviation organization air services negotiation meeting in Nairobi that the aviation industry contributes four tenths of a percent to the country’s gdp. He also said the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi provides seventeen thousand direct and more than half a million indirect jobs.
Kenyatta said about eight in ten tourists visiting Kenya use air transport.
He said these are some of the reasons his government is committed to investing in aviation infrastructure to help the industry play its critical role in the economy.
2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo
At least two persons were reported killed in Togo over the weekend after security forces moved against protesters. Opposition has accused the government of using what it called “regime soldiers” it says opened fire on the demonstrators.
At least two persons were killed in clashes between Togo’s security forces and protesters.
Authorities reported finding a dead protester in Lome with an open wound in his left eye that indicated a bullet entry. Another dead body was also reported, this time with no bullet wounds.
The protests intensified after the government called for parliamentary elections to be held in late December. Opposition is against the polls. It has demanded reforms of the national electoral commission, and a two-term limit for presidents.
Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace
Two Cameroonian Law graduates, who are now musicians, have been traveling through the country’s English-speaking regions singing messages of peace they believe will touch the rebels and help end the separatist conflict there.
The singers started their group in October when they both lost family members and friend in the secessionist struggle in the English-speaking regions.
The duo sing in both English and French reminding people about the grave repercussions of war, and urging all sides to embrace peace.
The conflict has claimed hundreds of civilian lives. Thousands have been internally displaced, and thousands more have fled, many to neighboring Nigeria.
- Kenya Committed To Improving Aviation Infrastructure December 10, 2018
- 2 Persons Killed In Clash Between Security Forces And Protesters In Togo December 10, 2018
- Cameroon Law Graduates-Turn-Musicians Sing For Peace December 10, 2018
- South Africa Suspends Diplomatic Ties With Rwanda December 10, 2018
- President Ali Bongo Had A Stroke – Reports December 10, 2018
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