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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.

Some 400,000 people fled Burundi in 2015, the UN says

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.

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Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been president since 2005, says he will step down in 2020. Photo: AFP

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

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