Burundi opposition happy with mediator talks

Published On : Tuesday, June 14 2016

Burundi's key umbrella opposition group said Saturday it was "very satisfied" after meetings in Brussels with a mediator tasked with brokering talks to resolve the country's festering political crisis.
International efforts are under way to find an end to the turmoil in Burundi, which has seen hundreds of people killed and a quarter of a million flee the country.
The crisis began with President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial decision in April 2015 to run for a third term, a vote he won three months later amid an opposition boycott.
The CNARED group, which includes almost all of Burundi's political opposition, was barred from talks in Tanzania last month, but met mediator Benjamin Mkapa, a former Tanzanian president, in Brussels on Friday and Saturday.
"We are very satisfied with our meetings with the Burundi crisis mediator since yesterday, it is even a victory as it amounts to recognition of CNARED," the group's spokesman Jeremie Minani said.
While some members of CNARED were invited to Tanzania individually, the organisation as a whole was kept off the list. The group then called on its members to boycott the meetings, though some ultimately decided to attend.