Burundi opposition threaten to quit talks

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File: Burundi has fallen back into deep crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term of office in 2015. Photo: Reuters

BUJUMBURA – The coalition of Burundian opposition in exile-CNARED has threatened to quit the on- and- off peace talks if a decision is made to move negotiations to Burundi.

CNARED says it will not participate in the talks scheduled from November 26 to December 8 in Arusha, Tanzania if on the agenda of the talks is a proposal to move talks to Burundi.

 “In consternation, CNARED has just learned that the facilitator in Burundi conflict invited some people to attend the inter-Burundian dialogue last session from November 26 to December 8, reads a statement released on November 15.

The CNARED spokesperson, Pancrace Cimpaye, said if the former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa, who is also the facilitator of the talks agrees to move the talks to Bujumbura, he will have handed over the process to their opponent, President Pierre Nkurunziza.

 “CNARED cannot, under any circumstance, endorse plans to completely suspend the Arusha Peace Agreement. Nkurunziza has violated the Burundi constitution since he run for the third term and now he wants to amend it in order to govern Burundi until 2034,” says Cimpaye.

He said it would be unfair to the Burundians in exile because they won’t travel to Burundi for talks.

CNARED asked the UN, the EU, AU and the East African Community and prevail over the Mkapa and not take negotiations to Burundi.

Burundi has been facing political crisis since April 2015 when the ruling CNDD-FDD party officially announced the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza.