UN Secretary General replaces Burundi envoy

Abdoulaye Bathily, new mediator in the talks to end the crisis in Burundi.

Abdoulaye Bathily, new mediator in the talks to end the crisis in Burundi.

Following recent resignation of Said Djnnit, the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region as mediator in the on and off talks to end the political stalemate in Burundi, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appointed and dispatched his Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, Abdoulaye Bathily to Bujumbura as a replacement.

Ban Ki-moon said today in statement that the crisis in Burundi “threatens to undo more than a decade of work to consolidate peace and reconciliation in the country.”

The UN Spokesman said in a statement “The Secretary-General has requested [Mr. Bathily] to offer good offices in Burundi in support of regional efforts to reduce tensions and help Burundians peacefully settle their differences. Special Representative… will work closely with the African Union, the East African Community and the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region. He will arrive in Bujumbura on Sunday, 21 June”

The UN boss also commended Said Djinnit, for his “tireless efforts” “impartially”  as he brokered the talks. Mr. Djinnit howerver, was accused of government bias by the opposition and civil society and earlier this month they wrote to Ban Ki-moon requesting he replaces him.

Bathily will be facilitating talks between the government and President Nkurunziza on one hand and the opposition and civil society on the other.

President Nkurunziza maintains the constitution doesn’t bar him from running for a third term, and the opposition want him to drop his candidacy because it “violates the constitution”.

The opposition also wants the government to move the elections until stability returns to the country, and the government has already postponed elections but opposition contends the elections should be postponed for a longer period as the regional heads of state have recommended.

Abdoulaye Bathily is a Senegalese politician and diplomat, he has been Ban Ki-moon Special Representative in Central Africa since 2014.