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Burundi crisis: Museveni 'very much distracted', says US Official

11 December 2015, 21:44

Kampala – Ugandan Defence Minister  Crispus Kiyonga held a closed-door meeting on Thursday with officials from the United Nations (UN), African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) on Thursday to find a way to resolve the crisis in Burundi, reports the Daily Monitor.

The meeting occurred at the defence ministry in Kampala where Kiyonga briefed officials confirming that they had internal dialogue between July and November in Burundi.

The meeting was in light of a warning from the United States saying that Uganda and the East African Community will be held accountable if no resolve was found.

President Yoweri Museveni was appointed to head the talks in July. 

Museveni was criticised by Senior US Official, Linda Thomas-Greenfield who said he was "very much distracted" from his role as mediator, the East African reported.

Speaking to a US Senate panel, Thomas-Greenfield said Museveni's efforts were being put towards his campaign for re-election in 2016.

“If it is not, and the crisis deteriorates further, possibly into full-scale war, I fear that president Museveni and the EAC could end up being partially blamed, given the lengthy delays in getting the process started,” Thomas-Greenfield was quoted as saying.

Activists in civil society organisations recently called for Museveni to step down as mediator as he is "too busy" with making Burundi a priority.

Chief executive officer of FIDA-Uganda, an association of women lawyers fighting for women rights, Irene Ovonji Odida said the baton should be given to Tanzania.

“I think he should not have been a mediator because he is too busy…we are in an election. Secondly, the key issue in Burundi was on term limits. Uganda is not a role model on that,” the Daily Monitor reported her saying.

- News24


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