Burundi violence must stop, says Museveni

Monday December 28 2015
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President Museveni addresses delegates at the opening of Burundi peace talks at State House Entebbe, Uganda. Courtesy photo

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has asked warring parties in Burundi to put an end to extrajudicial killings in the country.
Mr Museveni also said he will personally investigate the said extrajudicial killings.
“African must stop being clowns. These extra judicial killings must stop. I will send a team privately as a mediator to investigate the alleged extra judicial killings [in Burundi],” he said.

Mr Museveni said Monday while opening Burundi peace talks at State House Entebbe, Uganda.
He said he was reluctant to mediate the Burundi crisis after being disappointed with earlier role in DR Congo crisis.
“I didn’t want to mediate because I had been annoyed with the handling of DR Congo where the parties involved went and did things contrary to what we had agreed upon and now the crisis there has persisted. But then I said if God has given me health, why not help people there. I had wanted to see these negotiations concluded before the election. Unfortunately, the election took place before the negotiations were over,” he said.

However, Mr Museveni emphasized that Uganda will not interfere with the sovereignty of Burundi.
“There is a problem in Burundi but due to sovereignty, we can't go in. One million people died in Rwanda due to the same issue. Our entry point is that we don’t want to interfere with the internal affairs of Burundi. During Idi Amin’s reign, Ugandans were dying but Kenya could not come in because of its sovereignty. But East Africa will not tolerate violence of this nature,” he added.

The talks are the first step towards ending tension in Burundi after months of political unrest in the capital Bujumbura with the worst killings three weeks ago that left nearly 90 people dead.
At least 240 have been killed since Burundi’s crisis began in April with more than 200,000 people having fled the country. The violence was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial decision to run for a third term in office.

Two weeks ago, the African Union approved the deployment of 5,000-strong force but the Burundi government has opposed the decision, saying the deployment of any foreign force to the country would be seen as an act of aggression.
In July, President Nkurunziza was elected with 69 per cent of vote amid violence and boycott by the Opposition.
In the same month, President Museveni was later appointed by the East African Community to mediate the talks between the protagonists but the American government last week said President Museveni has no time to mediate the talks because he “was busy with the campaigns” seeking re-election.

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