Burundi boycotts peace talks

Burundi’s government is boycotting a final round of peace talks to end a political crisis that erupted three years ago.

The talks in the Tanzanian town of Arusha are meant to heal the deep divisions that emerged after President Pierre Nkurunziza stood for a controversial third term in 2015.

A crackdown on opposition protests led to more than 1,000 people being killed and there was a failed coup plot in the same year

The government has said it is not sending anyone to Arusha because October is a month of mourning in Burundi.

A former prime minister was killed in October 1961 and a former president was assassinated during the same month in 1993.

But for many Burundians, this is a strange excuse to skip an event which is meant to heal deep political divisions.

Just last week the government accused an opposition leader of organizing a plot to kill President Nkurunziza.

Pierre-Celestin Ndikumana dismissed the accusation as a crude plot to intimidate him.

The president says he will not run for office again but the political crisis remains unresolved.


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