The United States says it is deeply concerned by reports that fighting has broken out in several areas of Burundi and by recently broadcast remarks by Burundians threatening to use force against the Government of Burundi.
“We urge all parties in Burundi to commit themselves to constructive dialogue to resolve peacefully the political impasse that threatens to unravel the peace and stability ushered in by the implementation of the Arusha Agreement over a decade ago,” reads a statement released by the U.S. Embassy Kampala.
The United States said it condemns violence as a means to attain political goals, and opposes any attempt to seize power through extraconstitutional means.
“We strongly oppose any armed activity or incursions into Burundi and will seek to hold accountable those responsible for gross human rights abuses.”
Burundi army captures rebels
The US warning comes amid reports that Burundi army has captured scores of gunmen and killed others in two days of clashes in the north of the country.
General Leonard Ngendakumana, who was involved in a failed coup attempt in May, said he and his comrades were mobilising forces to topple President Pierre Nkurunziza, who triggered a political crisis by seeking a third term in office.
Ngendakumana told Reuters that his loyalists were involved in the clashes.
Anselme Nsabimana, governor of Cibitoke province, which borders both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo told the news agency that 100 gunmen were captured by Burundi army.
He said the gunmen are composed of all ethnic groups and are from different provinces of Burundi.
The rebel insurgency comes at the height of a political crisis triggered by Nkurunziza’s third term bid that has so far claimed about 77 people and displaced thousands more.
Opponents of Nkurunziza say his re-election bid is unconstitutional.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is expected in Bujumbura tomorrow to help mediate the crisis so July presidential elections can take place peacefully.
Museveni is expected to reflect the EAC mandate and mediate on behalf of the regional bloc to return Burundi to normalcy.