NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday left the country for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to attend an emergency East African Community (EAC) Summit of Heads of State on the political situation in Burundi.
The EAC leaders are meeting for the second time this month to review the situation in Burundi.
During an earlier Summit convened by EAC Chairman President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the leaders recommended that elections in Burundi should be postponed but not beyond the mandate of the current government.
The leaders noted that the conditions in Burundi were not conducive for elections to be held as scheduled by the National Electoral Commission.
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza who will not be attending the summit however, insist the election must be held in the current situation, and has declined to get his name off the ballot.
“President Nkurunziza will not go to Dar es Salaam,” Gervais Abahiro told AFP. “He will be represented there by his foreign minister. He is campaigning (for elections) and decided to delegate his minister.”
The heads of state of Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya were meeting in the Tanzanian port city to tackle the crisis in Burundi stemming from Nkurunziza’s controversial bid to stand for a third term in office.
It was during a first crisis meeting on May 13 in Tanzania’s economic capital, attended by Nkurunziza, that a top general launched an unsuccessful bid to oust him.
The Burundi capital Bujumbura has been hit by weeks of civil unrest that has left at least 30 people dead in a major crackdown.
Burundi’s government insisted Friday that parliamentary elections will go ahead on June 5 despite the ongoing political crisis.
A presidential poll is scheduled for June 26.