DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Peace talks aimed at bringing a lasting peace and
harmony in Burundi, a member state of the East African Community
(EAC), stalled on Wednesday after representatives from Burundi
government were absent.
By late Wednesday
representatives of the government of President Pierre Nkurunziza
had not reported in the Tanzanian northern tourist city of
Arusha, the venue of the fifth round of talks.
This forced former Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa, the facilitator,
to postpone the talks, possibly to Thursday, said sources privy
to the talks.
Informal discussions, though, have been underway at a tourist
lodge on the outskirts of Arusha city involving mainly the
opposition leaders in exile.
There were also officials of the opposition parties who flew
in directly from Bujumbura but none from the ruling CNDD-FDD
The leader of the opposition Uprona party in exile, Charles
Nditiye, said it was meaningless for the peace dialogue to
continue without the participation of the government in power.
"I don’t see any prospects if the government is not
represented," he told journalists.
Nditiye, who is based in Belgium, said there are up to 60
representatives from various Burundi political parties,
including CNARED, a loose coalition of Burundi exiles operating
mainly from Europe.
Another opposition leader, Chauvineau Mugwengezo, also
expressed his concern over the slow pace of mediation efforts.
He called on all Burundi politicians to forge a common ground
that would ensure successful attainment of peace in their
country through dialogue.
Mugwengezo, president of UPD party, faulted the government
for failure to send its representatives to the talks, saying it
was a sign of lack of committment.
He called on regional leaders in the EAC to give every
necessary support to former president Mkapa and his mediation
Launched in December 2015, the inter-Burundi dialogue is
aimed at finding a solution to the political crisis in Burundi,
but the previous four rounds have made no concrete progress.
Burundi plunged into a crisis in April 2015 when President
Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term
bid, which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was
opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in
a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup in May 2015.
China and Burundi aim to
further pragmatic co-operation
BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) --
A key Chinese political adviser
and Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday pledged to
further enhance mutual political trust and deepen pragmatic
cooperation between their two countries.
In recent years, the relationship between China and Burundi
entered the best period in history, Liu Qibao, vice chairman of
the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political
Consultative Conference (CPPCC) who headed a delegation, said at
a meeting with Nkurunziza in Bujumbura, capital of the central
China is willing to translate the traditional friendship
between the two countries into more tangible results that can
benefit the two peoples, he said.
During the meeting, Liu highlighted the Beijing Summit of the
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China’s achievements in
social and economic development over the past 40 years since its
reform and opening-up, especially since the 18th National
Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the Belt and Road
Nkurunziza spoke highly of the relationship between the two
countries and the great achievements China has made through its
reform and opening-up.
He expressed Burundi’s willingness to further strengthen
exchanges and cooperation with China and promote the in-depth
development of the bilateral relations.
During his visit, Liu also met with President of the National
Assembly of Burundi Pascal Nyabenda and Burundi Senate Speaker
Reverien Ndikuriyo respectively.
Burundi ruling party urge International Support against
Burundi peace talks falter as President Pierre
Nkurunziza's government fail to attend