Burundi talks to resume in Uganda as crisis deteriorates

December 21, 2015 12:30 pm 

KAMPALA, Dec. 21 — Talks aimed at resolving the Burundi crisis are to resume in Uganda late this month, a mediator has said.

Crispus Kiyonga, who is also Uganda's minister of defense told reporters that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will chair the talks on Dec. 28 before they are moved to Arusha, Tanzania.

In July, Museveni was asked by his counterparts in the region to chair the talks aimed at ending the crisis that has left hundreds of people dead and thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.

Kiyonga said some of the key issues to be addressed in the talks is a government of national unity, security stabilization of the country among others.

He said the talks took long to resume because of wide opinions about the essence of the dialogue.

Kiyonga noted that the security situation in Burundi has greatly deteriorated, prompting the urgency of the talks.

"It is now considered appropriate and critical that the dialogue resumes," Kiyonga said, noting that the talks were last held in July.

He argued that while Uganda is pursuing a political dialogue, there are some partners who are looking at deployment of a peacekeeping force.

The African Union Peace and Security Council this week recommended the deployment of 5,000 peacekeeping troops in Burundi.

"Dialogue will go on and the African Union will go on to protect the people. The AU force is not going to fight the army in Burundi, they are just going to help stabilize," Kiyonga.

The crisis in Burundi was caused by the successful bid by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a third term in office contrary to the country's Constitution. (PNA/Xinhua)

BNB/EBP

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