29th December 2015, protests and divisions have been witnessed in Burundi as peace talks begins in Uganda.
Burundi’s government and opposition began peace talks on Monday aimed at ending crisis threatening peace and stability of East Africa nations.
Regional stakeholders called on both sides to engage in peace talks for discussions to end months of unrest, violence and fighting which began in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s plan to seek a third term was opposed and termed as unconstitutional.
After Nkurunziza was elected in the disputed third term as president of Burundi, street protests and violence began and country almost had a coup attempt.
Continued clashes and gun attacks have been witnessed relentlessly with analyst warning of escalating violence could lead to the worst civil war or even genocide similar to the neighbouring Rwanda.
Both sides have shown no sign of a reaching out to make peace. The government and opposition groups say Nkurunziza’s re-election bid broke constitutional term limits and a peace deal that ended a decade-long civil war in 2005.
African Union was ready to deploy East Africa Standby Force of about 5,000 peacekeepers but Burundi leadership rejected the troops terming the deployment as a violation of its sovereignty.
Uganda peace talks drew Burundian government, opposition delegations, and representatives from the African Union as well as ones from United Nations and Western diplomats.
Next phase of Burundi peace talks expected to be held at the headquarters of the East African Community bloc in Arusha, Tanzania.
Burundi violence has seen more than 400 people killed and an estimated 220,000 others flee since April according to United Nations.