Burundi rules out talks with 'rebel' opposition

2015-09-23 18:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - Burundi's government ruled out on Wednesday talks with key opposition groups, rejecting calls by the influential Catholic Church for all sides to negotiate to ensure no return to civil war.

While the government "totally agrees" with the Church's call earlier this week for dialogue, "there will never be any negotiations with those who are charged with insurrection, and want to bring our country into chaos and war", presidential communications chief Willy Nyamitwe said.

"There is no alternative but to catch them and judge them."

President Pierre Nkurunziza won a highly controversial third term in July in polls boycotted by the opposition and denounced by the United Nations as neither free nor fair.

His re-election bid sparked an attempted coup by rebel generals and months of civil unrest led by opposition groups, who condemned it as unconstitutional.

Real actors in the conflict

The government accuses those who took part in the protests against his third term of "insurrection".

Nyamitwe ruled out any discussion with Cnared, the anti-third term coalition founded in August involving most of the opposition and civil society leaders.

"Cnared is not recognised by law, and its leaders have promised put the country to the fire and the sword," he said.

Earlier this month arrest warrants were issued for leaders of the "uprising" and the failed coup, although specific names were not released.

The Catholic Church, followed by some 60% of the population, has spoken out against the president, saying his third-term went against a peace deal that helped end the 1993-2006 civil war, in which at least 300 000 people were killed.

"It is necessary that the real actors in the conflict, fighting for power, sit together immediately," the statement broadcast on Catholic radio and read in churches earlier this week said.

Burundi's constitution only allows a president to be elected twice - for a total of 10 years in power.

But Nkurunziza argued ahead of the poll that he had only been directly elected by the people once. In power since 2005, when he was selected by parliament, he was first re-elected in 2010.

Read more on:    pierre nkurunziza  |  burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.