Ministers meet in Tanzania ahead of Burundi summit

May 30, 2015 10:04 am
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At least 100,000 people are thought to have fled the country since the violence started and are now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, according to United Nations statistics. Photo/AFP.
At least 100,000 people are thought to have fled the country since the violence started and are now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, according to United Nations statistics. Photo/AFP.
NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Foreign Affairs Ministers from the East African Community countries are meeting in Tanzania to try find a solution for the Burundi political crisis triggered by a failed coup attempt.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed is among the officials converged in Dar es Salaaam to discuss the tense political situation in the small landlocked country which has witnessed scenes of violence since last month.

“The EAC ministers will also discuss the situation of Burundi refugees mainly in Tanzania and Rwanda,” she stated through her twitter handle.

At least 100,000 people are thought to have fled the country since the violence started and are now seeking refuge in neighboring countries, according to United Nations statistics.

Amina indicated that the meeting will consider reports by EAC Eminent Persons and the chairperson of the Council of Ministers on Burundi in finding a lasting solution ahead of a heads of state summit due Sunday.

The ministers meeting comes a day before Heads of States from the EAC countries converge to consider the resolutions, before making a recommendation.

It is a follow up of another meeting held there two weeks ago which was to be attended by Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza who did not eventually attend it after receiving reports that a military General has attempted a coup which was thwarted two days later when he went back and took charge.

The opposition and rights groups in the country have been holding protests aimed at blocking President Pierre Nkurunziza from vying for a third term.

But even with international pressure to postpone the presidential elections, Nkurunziza insists the atmosphere is conducive for the polls and has insisted on being on the ballot.

International donors have since withheld support for the election, days after a key opposition figure Zedi Feruzi, the head of opposition party UPD was assassinated alongside his bodyguard in the Ngagara district of Bujumbura.

Feruzi, a member of the African nation’s relatively small Muslim community, was prominent in the opposition circles even though his party was not among the nation’s biggest.

The country is facing what observers see as its deepest crisis since the end of an ethnically fuelled civil war in 2005.

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