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EAC not inferring with Burundi peace talks: official

East African Community (EAC) on Friday rubbished reports that the regional bloc was meddling with ongoing peace talks aimed at finding lasting solution to political strife in Burundi.

Liberati Mfumukeko, the EAC Secretary General, said it was not true that he was interfering with the office of the mediator in the Burundi peace talks.

"These allegations are very serious," said Mfumukeko, a Burundian national, further distancing himself from the alleged plot of derailing and influencing the Burundi peace talks that seek to restore peace in the central African country.

He told a news conference that he did not have a hand in the dialogue, adding that the sole mandate rested on the shoulders of the mediator, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and his facilitator, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

"The EAC will really like to help Burundi come out of the mess and I’m not in any way involved in their decisions," he said.

Mfumukeko said his office was only responsible for providing logistical support to the dialogue and not interfering or influencing the decisions made by the mediator and facilitator.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and over 500,000 people fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, since the chaos started last year in the capital Bujumbura.

Burundi plunged into chaos from April 2015 when the country’s President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to vie for the presidency for a third five-year-term which he went on to win during the controversial elections held in July 2015.


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