Civic groups in Burundi on Tuesday rejected a U.N. facilitator of talks between the government and those opposed to a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza, saying they feel he backs the president.
Several civic groups have written a joint letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressing opposition to the role of Algerian diplomat Said Djinnit, according to Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, a leading rights activist here.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban continues “to fully stand behind” Djinnit, who arrived back in Bujumbura on Tuesday and will attend the African Union summit later this week for talks with political leaders.
He said the U.N. has heard the opposition and others, and its message to the Burundian parties is to “rise above” their own interests and think of the national interests and the need to end the crisis.
Willy Nyamitwe, a presidential spokesman, said Tuesday the rejection of Djinnit is evidence of the opposition’s “lack of maturity.”
Burundi has been hit by political unrest since the announcement April 25 that Nkurunziza would seek a third term in office, which many see as unconstitutional. The country’s constitutional court has ruled in favor of him, however. Read more
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