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Burundi’s future is uncertain

22 December 2016

UN/CIA PAK

Representative: Burundi's Minister for External Relations and International Cooperation, Alain Amié Nyamitwe, addresses the United Nations General Assembly, in September

Representative: Burundi's Minister for External Relations and International Cooperation, Alain Amié Nyamitwe, addresses the United Nations Gener...

THE Archbishop of Canterbury’s visit to Burundi in March followed warnings from church sources of a possible genocide (News, 11 March). Today, the Bishop of Gitega, the Rt Revd John Nduwayo, reports a “significant improvement security-wise, despite the isolated cases of kidnapping and killings in different parts of the country”.

It is now a year since a former President of Tanzania, Benjamin Mkapa, and the President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, were appointed to facilitate peace talks. They have been criticised by the opposition, and the UN notes ongoing reports of killings, summary executions, disappearances, torture, and the use of hate speech by government officials. Since the unrest broke out, more than a year ago, it has documented 564 killings. More than 250,000 people have fled.

In addition, the country is suffering from severe food shortages caused by drought and flooding. Bishop Nduwayo said that the international economic sanctions had “worsened the situation in all sectors of the country’s life”.

“Please do continue to remember this country in your prayers, as we still don’t know what the future holds,” he said.

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