Leaders to meet over Burundi crisis

Over 17,000 refugees have fled from Burundi to Tanzania. Photo: Ssuuna/IRIN

Heads of state are to meet in Dar on Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Burundi, which has resulted in over 50,000 refugees fleeing the country. Photo: Ssuuna/IRIN

East African leaders are expected to meet in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday (May 13) to assess the details of a fact finding mission sent to Burundi by President Jakaya Kikwete, who is currently chair of the East African Community (EAC.)

The leaders will examine the report, which was also reviewed by EAC foreign affairs ministers on Tuesday in Dar es Salaam, as well as a team of experts including former Prime Minister Joseph Warioba and others who were involved in solving Burundi’s crisis in the 1990s.

Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe and his counterparts from Rwanda and Kenya had been sent to Burundi to compile the report.

The team of experts are to assist in finding ways to keep the unrest in the region from deteriorating further.

“Our brothers in Burundi are in a political crisis, therefore the meeting here is of great importance for the people of that country as well as the community at large,” says Membe.

Weeks of violent protests have followed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s announcement that he is seeking a third term in power.

Over 50,000 refugees have already fled the country with over 17,000 heading to Tanzania, according to data released by the United Nations last week.

Read more: 17,000 Burundi refugees in Tanzania

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