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.
Nkurunziza’s bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term, despite a constitutional two-term limit, has sparked months of civil unrest and an attempted coup in mid-May.
Opposition groups say another term would violate a peace deal that paved the way to end a dozen years of civil war in 2006. There are fears the current crisis could plunge the impoverished, landlocked country back into civil war. Both sides have made clear that their positions will not change.