The Burundian government and political opposition groups are committed to resolving the disputes that have flared into violence, with a less than week left before a presidential vote that sparked the unrest, a mediator said. Discussions between the groups, which have included civil society activists, opposition parties and three former presidents, are making progress and they aim to report back with proposals as soon as possible, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. Museveni, who was picked by the five-nation East African Community to mediate an end to the political crisis, led efforts for two days in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, and his defense minister, Crispus Kiyonga, will arrive on Thursday to take over that role.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni arrived in Burundi on Tuesday for crisis talks, as President Pierre Nkurunziza readied for a third term bid in polls next week following months of violence. Museveni, appointed mediator last week by the five-nation East African Community (EAC), arrived by road via Rwanda to push stalled talks between Nkurunziza’s ruling CNDD-FDD party and opposition groups. The veteran Ugandan leader, who first flew to Rwanda for meetings there before entering Burundi escorted by Ugandan armoured vehicles, said in a statement he would “establish a dialogue among warring political factions.” But with the presidential elections now scheduled for July 21, Museveni has been left with only a few days to succeed.
A leading member of Burundi’s opposition FRODEBU Nyakuri Party says heads of state from the East African Community (EAC) have failed the people of Burundi following what he says was their failure to implement measures to resolve the political crisis. Hosted on Monday by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the regional leaders held a summit in a bid to help resolve the crisis in Burundi. The leaders called for a postponement of the presidential election scheduled to be held on July 15. But, Issa Ngendakumana, from the FRODEBU Nyakuri party, says the two-week postponement of the presidential vote and the selection of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to mediate an end to the political crisis are unlikely to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in Burundi.