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Zuma back in SA after being stranded in Burundi

Zuma back in SA after being stranded in Burundi

Postby maco » Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:10 pm

Zuma back in SA after being stranded in Burundi,

President Jacob Zuma arrived back in Pretoria on Saturday afternoon after being stranded in Burundi due to technical problems with his presidential aircraft.


The South African National defence Force (SANDF) confirmed earlier that a military plane had been dispatched to fetch the President after his aircraft broke down in the troubled East African delegation country.


Zuma was in Burundi as the head of a high-level five-member African Union heads-of-state delegation for talks aimed at bringing an end to a crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April last year to run for a third term‚ which he won in an election in July.


Following protests and a brutal government crackdown‚ violent attacks have become routine‚ raising fears of a return to the civil war fought between 1993-2006 in which about 300‚000 people died.


In a statement announcing that the President had arrived back in South Africa on Saturday afternoon‚ the Presidency described his visit as “productive and fruitful”.


Before leaving the Burundi capital Bujumburu‚ Zuma said that all parties caught up in the Burundi conflict had expressed strong commitments to resolving whatever political problems existed through inclusive and peaceful dialogue.


He added that the High Level Delegation of the Heads of State and Government had expressed its concerns about the levels of violence‚ loss of life‚ and the general state of political instability in the country.


“We are however pleased that all parties expressed strong commitment to resolving whatever political problems exist through inclusive and peaceful dialogue. We believe strongly that the solution to Burundi political problems can be attained only through inclusive and peaceful engagement‚” Zuma stated.


He said the Burundi government had committed to continue the steps it had begun to open up space for free political activity by the people of Burundi and ensure the freedom of the media.


From its side‚ the AU would deploy one hundred human rights observers and one hundred military monitors to Burundi to monitor the situation.


In addition‚ Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni would convene an inclusive dialogue that would be attended by all important stakeholders as soon as possible to continue the work that he had already started of facilitating peace talks in Burundi.


“We urge the international community to support the people of Burundi in their efforts to find lasting peace and development for the country.


“In this regard‚ we urge the international community to restore the provision of assistance to Burundi as requested by the people of Burundi so that they can continue with building their country‚” Zuma stated.


He added that the delegation would provide a full report to the African Union Chairperson and President of Chad‚ President Idriss Deby Itno.

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