Sunday, December 20, 2015

Mahiga calls for talks to end Burundi bloodshed

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation, East Africa and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga.      

By Zephania Ubwani

Arusha. Tanzania has called for the convening of an emergency ministerial meeting to address the crisis in the East African Community (EAC) member country, Burundi, which has already impacted on the operations of the regional organisation and the integration efforts in general.

“Our (Tanzania) position is that there should be a mediation to the crisis. We are not in favour of deployment of foreign troops there”, said the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation, East Africa and International Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga.

He said yesterday that President Yoweri Museveni had been advised to convene an emergency meeting of Foreign and EAC Affairs ministers from all the five partner states to discuss the worsening situation in the strife-torn country.

He said Tanzania was concerned over the escalating violence in Burundi and has called for urgent intervention of the East African Community (EAC) partner states.

Dr Mahiga said the government cannot remain silent as the neighbouring country was “bleeding” and at the same time shoulder the burden of the refugees.

He told reporters after a brief visit to the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) that President John Pombe Magufuli has already contacted fellow EAC Heads of State on the need to intervene in the crisis.

Dr Mahiga will today meet the EAC Secretary General to discuss the Burundi issue and Tanzania’s new position on how to stop bloodshed which has gripped the country since April this after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s move to extend tenure of office.     

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