AU, EU ask Museveni to chair Burundi talks


,Museveni and Sezibera

The African Union and the European Union are set to meet in Kampala or Addis Ababa over the deteriorating Burundi crisis.

This is contained in a joint statement by United Nations Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, African Union Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on Burundi.

“Participating in the Valetta Summit on migration, we discussed Burundi,” the statement reads.

It adds: “Alarmed by the widening divisions, the threat for many more lives and a deep regional crisis, we pledged to work closely together and to mobilise all our means and instruments to prevent a further deterioration of the situation.”

AU and EU officials agreed on the urgency to convene a meeting of the Burundian government and opposition representatives in Addis Ababa, or in Kampala under the chairmanship of President Museveni.

Museveni was earlier appointed by the East African Community to mediate Burundi crisis but the talks collapsed.

AU and EU say now no effort can be spared to achieve an end to the violence and to foster a political solution.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and key Western nations are discussing the possibility of deploying international peacekeepers in Burundi if the violence in the East African country escalates into a full-scale ethnic conflict, diplomats have said.

At least 240 people have reportedly been killed as tens of thousands have fled to neighbouring states due to the violence that began when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided in April to run for a third term.

Nkurunziza went ahead to win the disputed elections held in July.

The UN on Monday warned that Burundi could be facing imminent catastrophe with violence in danger of escalating to atrocities.

The UN Security Council is due to vote on Thursday on a French drafted resolution that would ask the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to report back on options for boosting the UN’s presence in Burundi.

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