We must salvage Burundi, says Uhuru

May 19, 2015 6:00 am
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President Kenyatta speaking to journalists after opening a session of the Pan African parliament in Midrand, South Africa. Photo/ PSCU
President Kenyatta speaking to journalists after opening a session of the Pan African parliament in Midrand, South Africa. Photo/ PSCU

, MIDRAND, South Africa, May 19 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked regional leaders not to allow crisis-ridden Burundi to go to the dogs.

He said no efforts should be spared to ensure the troubled land-locked East African country returns to normalcy as soon as possible.

Speaking to journalists after opening a session of the Pan African parliament in Midrand, South Africa, President Kenyatta said Burundi had come a long way and had previously been assisted to stabilise politically by former South African leader Nelson Mandela and the current president Jacob Zuma.

President Kenyatta reiterated the position by the East African Community (EAC) recently adopted in Dar-es-Salaam, calling for the postponement of the elections, but within constitutionally acceptable mandate of the current government.

President Kenyatta said regional leaders are committed to help Burundi arrive an amicable, sustainable and lasting peace.

“I call on all parties to refrain from violence to allow the enhancement of dialogue to resolve this crisis”, said President Kenyatta.”

He said only dialogue will allow the parties to reach a consensus that is acceptable.

“This consensus will allow free, fair and transparent elections,” he said.

President Kenyatta has been in constant touch with incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza on the need to postpone the elections.

But even as President Kenyatta spoke in Midrand, his host, President Jacob Zuma was in Luanda, Angola , attending a special summit on Burundi convened by Angolan President Eduardo Dos Santos.

The Burundi crisis has been precipitated by a bid to run for a third term by President Nkurunziza.

His decision is being contested by the opposition which maintains the President has served the mandatory two terms of five years each.

This stalemate has left Burundi reeling in public protests which have at times turned bloody.

Over 100,000 Burundians have fled to neighboring countries including Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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