The new leader of Burundi’s opposition coalition urged rebels to lay down their weapons if President Pierre Nkurunziza agrees to take part in talks on the East African nation’s political crisis this month.
Jean Minani, who was elected leader of the Cnared group last month, said the three main rebel movements should forswear violence if Nkurunziza attends the negotiations scheduled to begin May 21 in the Tanzanian city of Arusha. Minani, who’s in Belgium, commented in an audio interview with Indundi, a Burundi-based website.
Landlocked Burundi has been hit by unrest that’s killed more than 470 people since Nkurunziza decided in April 2015 to stand for re-election, a move his opponents said was unconstitutional. The country’s police last week said at least 77 police officers have been killed by insurgents in the past year.