AP Photo/Berthier Mugiraneza
Senior Burundian officials have announces they are in support of dialogue with the opponents of President President Pierre Nkurunziza’s administration.
“Political dialogue is an ongoing process in Burundi. We have remained open and ready to talk to whoever has a stake in this crisis,” the government spokesperson, Gervais Abayeho, told The EastAfrican on the phone from Bujumbura.
The decision taken a few months ago by the president to run for what critics have called an unconstitutional third term, threw the East African country into conflict and violence. It is the biggest crisis the country has seen since the ethnically motivated civil war, which ended in 2005. The constitution of Burundi clearly states that a president may only serve two terms. However, President Nkurunziza’s party claimed he was eligible to run for another term as a popularly elected president due to the fact that for his first term he was elected by lawmakers.
The United Kingdom, United States and human rights groups condemned the vote that took place earlier this year. They said it was not credible due to the persecution and intimidation of the opposition leaders, rights activist, voters and journalists.