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Kenya urges warring Burundi leaders to embrace dialogue

18 November 2015, 21:35

Nairobi - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday urged Burundi to embrace dialogue to save the country from plunging into a full-blown conflict.

Kenyatta encouraged President Pierre Nkurunziza to bring all parties to the negotiating table to swiftly resolve the political impasse in the country.

"The buck stops with President Nkurunziza. That is why we are encouraging him to involve all parties in the search for a solution to the conflict," he said when he held talks with visiting Special Representative of the Chinese Government on African Affairs Zhong Jianhua in Nairobi.

"Peace and stability in Burundi overrides all other issues. All parties must be brought on board to restore normalcy," Kenyatta added in a statement issued after the meeting.

Burundi has been rocked by months of violence, which began when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided in April to run for a third term. He won a disputed and widely boycotted election in July.

Also read: Government closes 115 alcohol manufacturers

The UN Security Council last week asked Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general, to report within 15 days on options for boosting the UN presence in Burundi amid growing concern that the violence could spiral into an ethnic conflict.

Scores have died in protests and killings and hundreds of thousands have fled Burundi since Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, a move the opposition said violated the constitution and a peace treaty that ended fighting in 2005.

Zhong who is in Nairobi to discuss the situation in Burundi said China has vast interests in the region and is increasingly becoming concerned about the conflict in Burundi.

The Chinese Special Representative on African Affairs added that the deteriorating situation in the East African country was a threat to development in the region.

He called on President Nkurunziza to be more receptive to dialogue in the search for a solution to the Burundi conflict.

Zhong assured that China and the international community was ready to provide the support needed to resolve the Burundi conflict

- Xinhua


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