- In a bid to douse the looming political and institutional crisis in the country, the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has engaged the leaders of the country’s main opposition parties for a dialogue.
This follows grenade attacks on the homes of five key political kingpins last weekend. The opposition blamed President Nkurunziza for the Sunday attacks.
The five were among 69 parliamentarians who have been hard on the President to open talk with the opposition about forming a unity government.
Officials of the two main opposition Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) and Unity for National Progress (UPRONA) this week confirmed to have held dialogue with Mr Nkurunziza.
Opposition leaders described the dialogue as fruitful, though they raised concern about the disruption of the peace process.
The European Union representative for the Great Lakes region, Roland van de Geer, who spent four days in Burundi to ease the tension between government and opposition, was impressed about the dialogue between President Nkurunziza and the opposition.
The EU convoy told a news conference that he had found an “extremely constructive and positive atmosphere among all those I met“ because political parties are willing to find solution through dialogue while President Nkurunziza admitted being responsible for unblocking the institutional crisis.
The EU is concerned about the persistence of the crisis, fearing its negative offshoot on its cooperation with Burundi.
Over the years, the EU had been the main donor of Burundi, which had just emerged from more than a decade long civil war. The country has now found itself in a political crisis for several months. The lost of the ruling party majority in parliament made it impossible to legislate laws.
Police raided on the house of Spokesman of FRODEBU, Pancrace Cimpaye, seizing computers and documents while talks to resolve the institutional and political crisis continued. Police said he was wanted for insulting President Nkurunziza.
But most people believed he has caused anger among Burundian authorities after uttering comments accusing the government of being behind the weekend grenade attacks. His arrest has been vehemently condemned by his colleagues, arguing that it was untimely.
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