A Burundian opposition group has written to the United Nations Secretary-General to denounce the failure of the negotiations led by the East African Community to resolve the east African nation's current crisis.
After stalling on negotiations for months, the Inter-Burundi Dialogue on the deadly political violence that has rocked Burundi for over a year hosted by facilitator and former Tanzania president Benjamin Mkapa, has hit yet another wall. This month, UN diplomats said the talks were "mostly hopeless."
Referring to the East African member states' "failure" to ensure a solution to the crisis, which has left an estimated 1,000 dead, 6,000 imprisoned and 20,000 missing, the Rassemblement des Démocrates Burundais (RDB) urged the UN to appoint a UN mediator to organise "inclusive negotiations without delay".
In an open letter to newly-appointed António Guterres, seen by IBTimes UK, the RDB said: "Since the beginning of these negotiations in July 2015, the negotiations remain blocked not only because of the stubbornness of the Burundian regime to refuse them but also because of the lack of will of the leaders of the East African community to force the Burundian regime to reject the path of violence in favour of inclusive negotiations under international mediation."
The group urged the UN Security Council to implement its Resolutions 2279, 2248 and 2303, adopted on 29 July 2016, which authorised the deployment of up to 228 UN police officers to the capital, Bujumbura, and throughout Burundi, for one year.
While President Pierre Nkurunziza rejected the police officers' component, Jeremie Minani, Commissioner in charge of communication and public relations within the CNARED opposition platform, requested that the UN deploy the contingent "to protect the civilian population at imminent risk".
Last month, Burundi announced its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court's (ICC) founding Rome statute, but the RDB insisted the UN Security Council "referred the Burundi case to the ICC in order to defeat the Burundian power-holders' plan to ensure impunity [...] for the international crimes they continue to commit".