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Great Lakes body pledges to mediate Burundi-Rwanda tension

The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has pledged to mediate the tension existing between Burundi and Rwanda, a spokesman of the Burundian president said Wednesday in a statement.

The statement was made in a briefing after a courtesy call of ICGLR new Executive Secretary Zachary Muburi Muita to Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

"The Burundian president told the ICGLR Executive Secretary that Burundian citizens do not have any problems with Rwandan citizens. During their discussions, the Executive Secretary pledged to mediate the conflict between Burundi and Rwanda," said Jean Claude Karerwa, deputy-spokesman of the Burundian president.

According to Karerwa, Muita pledged to all his best in collaboration with the East African Community (EAC) and the United Nations (UN).

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are cold since April 2015 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement.

Rwanda is accused of hosting Burundian citizens who staged a failed coup plot on May 13, 2015 and of providing military training to people who are destabilizing Burundi.

But Rwanda denied all those allegations.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 270,000 people fled to neighboring countries since the outbreak of the crisis.

The ICGLR secretariat is based in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. Twelve African Great Lakes countries are members of the ICGLR.

They include Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, the Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia.


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