Burundi boycotts final round of peace talks
Burundi’s government is boycotting a final round of peace talks to end a political crisis that erupted three years ago.
The talks in the Tanzanian town of Arusha are meant to heal the deep divisions that emerged after President Pierre Nkurunziza stood for a controversial third term in 2015.
A crackdown on opposition protests led to more than 1,000 people being killed and there was a failed coup plot in the same year
The government has said it is not sending anyone to Arusha because October is a month of mourning in Burundi.
A former prime minister was killed in October 1961 and a former president was assassinated during the same month in 1993.
But for many Burundians, this is a strange excuse to skip an event which is meant to heal deep political divisions.
Just last week the government accused an opposition leader of organising a plot to kill President Nkurunziza.
Pierre-Celestin Ndikumana dismissed the accusation as a crude plot to intimidate him.
The president says he will not run for office again but the political crisis remains unresolved.
Cover photo: Some 400,000 people fled Burundi in 2015, the UN says. Photo: Reuters