rejects request to grant immunity to 'coup plotters'
BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua)
-- Burundi has rejected the
request by the facilitator in the inter-Burundian
dialogue to grant immunity to suspects in the 2015
failed coup plot to allow them to participate in the
talks, the Burundian president’s office said Tuesday.
"The facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue,
also former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa sent a
letter to Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Feb.
27 this year, requesting him to grant immunity to coup
plotters so that they can participate in the
"The request is impossible because people sued by the
judiciary cannot get immunity according to international
regulations," Burundian President’s Spokesman Jean
Claude Karerwa said.
According to him, Burundi should be considered like
other countries as it is a country that respects
"The president of Burundi is not entitled to grant
immunity or to pardon people who are sued by the
"What he can do is to pardon people who have been
"If he pardons such a kind of people, he will be
accused of betraying the nation," Karerwa said.
He indicated that Burundian people "do not have big
problems" these days.
"In the letter sent back to the facilitator in the
inter-Burundian dialogue, the president stated that
Rwanda has rather been provoking Burundi," Karerwa said.
He also indicated that the president requested the
"repatriation of the talks" from the Tanzanian town of
Arusha to Burundi because most participants in the talks
are in Burundi.
The Burundian government boycotted the previous round
of talks that took place by mid February in Arusha,
Tanzania, arguing that it could not sit with what it
called "coup plotters" on the same table.
Burundian Government Spokesman Philippe Nzobonariba
said that invitations of participants to the talks were
characterized by irregularities.
"Some of the invited participants are sued by the
Burundian judiciary for their involvement in disrupting
Burundi’s security," Nzobonariba said.
The Burundian government was also against the
denomination of some political parties invited in the
talks, stressing that they are not political parties
registered at the east African country’s home affairs
The other concern was the participation, in the
talks, of Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser of the UN
Secretary General in Burundi, who was rejected by the
Burundian government in December 2016.
Burundi plunged in a crisis since April 2015 when
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his
controversial third term in violation of the national
constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a
decade-long civil war.
More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and
over 300,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly
Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR
Congo) and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis.