Rwanda: Senior US official calls for urgent steps to end impunity in Burundi

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes of Africa Thomas Perriello has called on the Burundian authorities to make efforts to end impunity and human rights abuses ion the country.

Speaking in Bujumbura on Thursday at the end of his two-day visit to Burundi, Perriello said that the US continued to strongly support the East African Community-sponsored regional dialogue among Burundians, facilitated by former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa.

"We believe this is the best and only path to a peaceful and lasting resolution to the crisis," he said, after meeting with Burundian Minister of Public Security Alain Guillaume Bunyoni.

According to a statement issued by the US embassy in Bujumbura obtained by PANA in Kigali on Friday, Perriello also noted with particular concern the arrest and continued detention of students for defacing textbooks and related demonstrations.

"We are calling on all parties to the current conflict to renounce violence, allow for safe political debate and participation and recommit to a peaceful, negotiated path forward through the regional dialogue," he said.

During his trip to Burundi, Perriello also held discussions with members of civil society organizations and representatives from UN and diplomatic missions about the ongoing political and security crisis in the East African country.

The political unrest in Burundi, which has lasted for more than a year, has killed more than 400 people and driven tens of thousands into asylum in neighbouring countries, according to humanitarian agencies in the region.
-0- PANA TWA/MA 24June2016

24 june 2016 10:54:11

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