The information coming from Burundi indicates that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has sent a battle tank, two war planes and 100 UPDF soldiers to secure the capital Bujumbura for his visit.
Museveni was last week appointed by regional leaders to mediate the ongoing crisis in Burundi.
The crisis arose after President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to pursue a third term in office.
Burundi’s ruling CNDD-FDD party demanded a UN mediator helping to end the political crisis to step down for not showing “neutrality in his work”.
This forced the regional bloc to choose Museveni who has been instrumental in settling regional disputes, to take up the mantle.
According to EAC Secretary General, Richard Sezibera, Museveni, who is expected in Burundi tomorrow, will lead regional efforts to dialogue and strike a deal and with the disputing parties.
With the threat of rebels in northern Burundi, Museveni has not taken the crisis lightly.
Highly placed sources in the capital Bujumbura tell us they have seen Ugandan troops on the streets deployed to ensure Museveni’s security.
They also saw a battle tank, two war planes and a whole battalion of heavily armed UPDF soldiers.
The Presidential guards already on the ground in Bujumbura.
The Ugandan delegation to Burundi will include 60 people and an armoured vehicle, according to sources.
Burundi Opposition angered
Meanwhile, Burundian opposition parties are not happy with the appointment of Museveni to mediate the ongoing crisis.
“It is like appointing a snake to mediate for sharks,” noted a Kenyan observer.
Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, deputy leader of the Front for Democracy in Burundi, says Museveni who has personally overstayed in power can’t help the Burundi situation which demands that Nkurunziza leaves power.
“Museveni has been in power since 1986; can he help the Burundian president to understand that a mandate limit is important? No,” Bamvuginyumvira is quoted as saying.
He added: “I expect nothing from his (Museveni’s) work.’’
Burundi presidency was forced to postpone presidential elections over the weekend.
A decree signed by President Pierre Nkurunziza, whose controversial bid to stand for a third consecutive five-year term has sparked weeks of civil unrest, said the polls would be moved from July 15 to July 21, with campaigning extended until the evening of July 18.
EAC asked that presidential elections be held on July 30 and that the winning party share power with losers in a government of national unity.
The postponement followed a threat by European Union to withdraw its observers and cut aid to Burundi.
Opposition is still unsure of the fairness of the coming presidential elections especially with the ongoing crackdown on their members and the mistreatment of protesters.
Opponents say the bid to extend Nkurunziza’s tenure violates a two-term limit set out in peace agreements that in 2005 brought an end to a 12-year civil war.