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Burundi rivals gather in Uganda for peace negotiations

He said that with the support of the global community, the people of Burundi must find their way to peace.

“There are lessons to be learned from these past experiences”, Jamal Benomar, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser, said at talks convened in Uganda by President Yoweri Museveni, who is also mediator of the East African Community. Many fear tensions are edging Burundi toward a return to out-and-out bloodshed; a decade after the country’s 12-year civil war between Hutu rebels and a Tutsi-led army came to an end.

Under Burundi’s constitution, foreign troops can only intervene if the warring parties ask for it, or if there is no legitimate government in place, the president said in comments broadcast on state radio.

Burundi’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, has declared that any African Union (AU) peacekeepers deployed to his country will be met with a fight from Burundian forces.

The violence – which has included an abortive coup, regular ambushes on security forces, street battles and even failed mortar bombings on the presidential palace – echoes attacks carried out during Burundi’s 1993-2006 civil war.

After Nkurunziza clinched a majority vote at the polls and was sworn into his third term, assassinations of both opposition leaders and members of Nkurunziza’s regime began to occur.

“CNARED requires above all an immediate end to the massacres, because we can not negotiate while people are about to be killed”, CNARED spokesman Pancrace Cimpaye said.

Dlamini-Zuma “stressed that the AU has no other agenda than to assist the government and people of Burundi at their hour of need”.

Over the weekend, protests against the proposed deployment were held across the country.

First deputy chairman of the country’s ruling CNDD-FDDD party, Victor Burikukiye, speaking in Entebbe today said: “I would like to mention that if those who participated in the [May 2015] coup are here, we shall not continue with the talks”.

After meeting in Uganda on Monday, Burundi’s government and opposition are due to gather again in January in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha for a fresh round of talks aimed at ending months of violence.

In this photo taken on Monday, Dec. 28 2015, Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, right, talks with Burundian refugees at the hospital in Nyarugusu refugee camp in Kigoma region Tanzania.

He said on Wednesday in Bujumbura that the AU resolution of sending 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi would not work.

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