Negotiations to end the violence in Burundi kicked off yesterday at State House Entebbe with four former Burundian presidents attending the talks mediated by President Museveni.
Ex-Presidents Pierre Buyoya, Sylvester Ntibantunganya, Domitien Ndayizeye and Jean Baptist Bagaza attended the inaugural session to draw the agenda for talks aimed at ending the bloody political unrest.
However, the talks seemed be headed for a rocky route with the Burundi government side giving a condition that all “coup plotters should not be allowed to attend the negotiations”
First Deputy Chairperson of the ruling party CNDD-FDD Victor Burikukikiye told the meeting attended by representatives of regional countries, international bodies and powers that it was “wrong to meet people who participated in the failed coup.”
“Before we start the negotiations, there are things that must be addressed. Those who participated in the coup attempt should not participate,” he said, adding that the talks’ agenda must be agreeable and should reflect recent events in Burundi.
But, President Museveni told the warring parties not to give conditions before the negotiations begin.
Mr Museveni also promised to send a team to Burundi to investigate the killings of civilians.
At least 240 have been killed since Burundi’s crisis began in April with more than 200,000 people having fled the country.
Violence was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial decision to run for a third term in office.
“I’m going to send a team privately as Uganda and as the chief mediator to investigate the reports of extra-judicial killings because that we shall not agree to,” he said.
The president blamed sectarianism, which he described as “pseudo-ideology”, indiscipline of armies, lack of vision by African leaders, and mismanagement of resources as the main causes of conflicts in Africa.
“Burundi had succeeded but along the way, it collapsed. The problem is clear. This pseudo- ideology has been a very big problem. It doesn’t represent the interests of the people,” he said.