UN, EU, AU call for urgent Burundi unity meeting

November 12, 2015 1:44 pm


Burundian hurling a stone in protest/FILE
Burundian hurling a stone in protest/FILE
MALTA, Nov 12 – The United Nations, European Union and African Union called Thursday for an urgent meeting between Burundi’s government and opposition to be held outside the country to end months of violence.

“We agreed on the urgency to convene a meeting of the Burundian government and opposition representatives in Addis Ababa, or in Kampala under the chairmanship of (Uganda’s) President Museveni,” senior officials from the three organisations said in a statement.

“No effort can be spared to achieve an end to the violence and to foster a political solution,” added the statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, African Union chairman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

The officials said they had discussed the crisis at a migration summit in Valletta, Malta.

Burundi has been rocked by killings, torture and illegal detentions since President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a controversial bid to prolong his term in office in April.

At least 240 people have been killed and more than 200,000 Burundians have fled the country.

“Alarmed by the widening divisions, the threat for many more lives and a deep regional crisis, we pledged to work closely together and to mobilise all our means and instruments to prevent a further deterioration of the situation,” the officials added.

The UN Security Council is expected to unanimously adopt later Thursday a French-drafted resolution aimed at ending violence in Burundi that many fear could escalate into Rwanda-style mass killings


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