The United Nations and the African Union on Saturday gave their support to the former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa as a facilitator in the Burundi crisis.
The two organizations In a recent press release said having taken note of the recent developments of the situation in Burundi the organizations have “reaffirmed their full support to the facilitation of the Community of the Africa to be led by the former Tanzania President.
Mkapa has been accused of being biased by the country’s opposition group.
Burundi’s opposition platform, CNARED, said Mkapa was not fit as a facilitator of crisis talks in Burundi.
It calls on the East African Community (EAC) to include experts from both the UN and the AU in talks to end the Burundi conflict.
On 9 December, at the end of a three-day visit to Burundi, Mkapa said the current government in the country is legal and legitimate. Adding that the legitimacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza should not be called into question.
Despite the pressures and the sanctions of the international community, Mkapa had considered it unnecessary to continue to challenge the “legitimacy” of the election of Mr. Nkurunziza.
Mkapa said the facilitation was rather concerned with creating favorable conditions in Burundi in order to organise free, fair and credible 2020 elections.
However, CNARED has reaffirmed readiness to take part in negotiations led by the East African community. The opposition group Board of Directors has decided to ask the senior mediator, Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, to consult with other EAC heads of states in order to start up a new mediation without delay.
The Burundi crisis began in April 2015, when the country’s ruling party CNDD-FDD nominated Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
The opposition and the civil society accused Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the Burundi Constitution and the Arusha Peace Agreement by running for a third controversial and unconstitutional term.
According to FIDH reports, since then, 700 people have been killed and more than 250,000 of others have been forced to flee the country.