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Burundi to resume political dialogue on unrest next week
Last Updated: 2015-06-05 09:36 | Xinhua
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Burundian Home Affairs Minister Edouard Nduwimana Thursday announced that talks to end the country' s unrest will resume next week under the auspices of the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi.

"The dialogue meant to end the country's unrest will resume next week on Monday or Tuesday as recommended by the regional summit held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on May 31," said Burundian Home Affairs Minister Edouard Nduwimana in a declaration.

He indicated participants in the dialogue will notably discuss issues that could not meet a consensus in Dar-es-Salaam including the third term bid of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in the upcoming presidential election and the end of protests against Nkurunziza's third term bid.

Nduwimana said, "We are going to resume dialogue under the auspices of the UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) , the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). We will inform the international community on the exact date of the dialogue."

The talks were suspended last weekend due to the regional summit on Burundi held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on May 31.

The extraordinary summit recommended the postponement of elections for at least one and half months to create favorable conditions for elections and to disarm youth groups.

Initially, the first two polls including legislative and communal elections had been slated to be held simultaneously on May 26, but were postponed for June 5 in the aftermath of a failed coup plot staged on May 13 by Major General Godefroid Niyombare whose whereabouts are still unknown.

Meanwhile, the presidential election was due on June 26.

Besides the issue of Nkurunziza's third term bid, the Burundian civil society, which is taking part in the dialogue, is urging the release of more than 500 protesters arrested during demonstrations and the reopening of independent radio stations.

Nduwimana also said that two out of five of members of the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) who submitted their resignation letters earlier this week will be replaced soon according to the law.

Burundi has been in turmoil since April 25 when Nkurunziza's party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), announced that he will run for a third term in office in the June elections, despite warnings at home and abroad.

Clashes between protesters and police, mainly in the capital Bujumbura, have left more than 30 dead, according to Burundi's civil society groups.

Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005.

Opponents say his decision violates the constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that limits the president to two terms in office.

His supporters argue that his first term does not count as he was appointed by parliament, not elected by people.

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