UN chief in Burundi to push for dialogue

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is welcomed upon arrival in Bujumbura by First Vice-President of Burundi Gaston Sindimwo. Photo: UNIC Bujumbura.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is welcomed upon arrival in Bujumbura by First Vice-President of Burundi Gaston Sindimwo. Photo: UNIC Bujumbura.

The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon arrived in the Burundian Capital Bujumbura Monday for an a official tour on which he plans to engage the authorities about the need to return to the negotiating table to end the current political crisis.

Mr. Ki-moon’s visit comes at a time when grenade and gun fire deaths have become routine in Bujumbura plunging residents in perpetual fear and uncertainty.

Three people were killed Sunday in grenade explosions and Bujumbura and another detonation Monday claimed one person.

The secretary general is expected to meet with top government officials including President Pierre Nkurunziza and members of the opposition and civil society and top on the agenda are resumption of dialogue, and the proposed African Union measure to deploy peacekeeping troops to Burundi.

Thus far talks have stalled and the government in Bujumbura has rejected the AU proposal.

The conflict has claimed about 500 people and pushed over 230,000 into refugee camps in regional countries.