Ban Ki-moon.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ/ ik

UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon arrived in Burundi Monday to step up efforts to end months of political violence in the east African nation.

Ban was due to meet with Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe on Monday afternoon and President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday.

Nkurunziza has insisted he will not meet exiled opposition politicians, whom his government accuses of being behind a failed coup in May last year. 

Leonard Nyangoma, the chairperson of the CNARED organization for government opponents in exile, said Ban's visit is an opportunity to pressure Nkurunziza into negotiating with his foes.

"Going forward, Nkurunziza has no choice. He has to negotiate,” Nyangoma said.

Ban should also press Nkurunziza into allowing independent experts to investigate human rights abuses in the country.

Burundi has been gripped by political violence since Nkurunziza announced in April that he would seek a third term in office, and won an election in July. 

Hundreds of people have been killed in protests, clashes and assassinations, while a newly formed rebel movement has vowed to oust him from power by the use of force.

Opponents and supporters of Nkurunziza have targeted each other in gun, rocket and grenade attacks. The violence has spread to the provinces.

Hours before Ban arrived, one person was killed and another was wounded in a grenade attack at a Bujumbura market.

The European Union, the African Union and the United Nations have all sought to broker a peaceful solution to the crisis.

In December, the EU held consultations with the government of Burundi, after accusing it of failing to comply with the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law agreed to under a treaty signed in 2000 by European, African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

A decade ago, around 300,000 people were killed in a civil war in Burundi fought between the Hutu and Tutsi ethnic groups.

Related stories

Latest news

Bayern round the clock - German champions launch own TV channel

Bayern Munich fans will be able to follow goings on at the Bundesliga record champions in a new way from next week when the club launches its own television channel.

'Weather bomb' hits transport, cuts power to 56,000 homes in Ireland

Storm Doris brought winds of up to 120 kilometres per hour to large areas of Ireland and Britain on Thursday, disrupting transport links and causing power cuts to tens of thousands of homes.

Croatia's registered unemployment rate rises to 15.4% in January

The registered unemployment rate in Croatia rose from 14.8% in December 2016 to 15.4% in January 2017, increasing for the fourth month in a row, the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) said Thursday.

Norway's telecom group Telenor to leave Indian market

Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor said Thursday it was leaving the Indian telecom market and transferring its businesses there to Bharti Airtel.

Iraq claims advance in retaking Mosul airport from Islamic State

Iraqi forces wrested back half of Mosul's airport from Islamic State Thursday, shortly after entering the facility during their ongoing campaign to drive the extremist militia from its last key stronghold in the country.

Rights group: Video shows Cambodian police beating election candidate

A video posted on YouTube shows eight Cambodian paramilitary police beating a man identified as an opposition candidate at a Phnom Penh shopping mall, a rights group said Thursday. 

Malaysia asks Interpol to issue alert for suspects in N Korean death

Malaysia on Thursday requested that Interpol issue an alert for four North Koreans suspected of involvement in last week's killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

British suspect arrested in Deutsche Telekom hacking

A 29-year-old British citizen suspected of involvement in a cyberattack that left nearly 1 million Deutsche Telekom customers without services last year has been arrested, German federal police said on Thursday.

Eight killed as bomb targets restaurant in Pakistan’s Lahore

A bomb ripped through a high-end restaurant in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Thursday, killing eight people, officials said, marking another attack amid a surge in violence by Islamist militants that has ended months of fragile calm.

Philippine court orders arrest of top Duterte critic

Senator Leila De Lima, one of the most outspoken critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was on Thursday ordered arrested on illegal drug charges by a Philippine court.

Hrvatski Telekom reports 2016 net profit of HRK 934 mn

Hrvatski Telekom (HT) generated a net profit of HRK 934 million in 2016, which is 1% more than in 2015, the telecommunications company said on Thursday in a report on its financial results in 2016.

FDI in Croatia totals EUR 1.2 bn in Jan-Sept 2016

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Croatia totalled EUR 1.227 billion in the first nine months of 2016, which is 552 million or 82% more than in the same period in 2015, analysts at Raiffeisenbank Austria (RBA) said in a report on Thursday, citing data provided by the Croatian National Bank.