Burundi Says It Will Participate in Talks on European Union Pact

Burundi will participate in talks aimed at restoring peace under a European Union development cooperation pact, government spokesman Willy Nyamitwe said, as unrest in the East African nation enters its eighth month.

The EU last month requested discussions with Burundi -- where 240 people have been killed in violence following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek re-election -- under procedures in the EU-African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States Partnership Agreement, a pact for development cooperation.

“Burundi had agreed government agreed to be present in these talks and preparations are on,” Nyamitwe said.

The European Commission has threatened to suspend the nickel-rich nation from a deal that provides preferential trade access and development aid to African, Caribbean and Pacific nations to the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Burundi descended into a political crisis when Nkurunziza announced that he was running for another term of five years, a move criticized by the opposition as violating peace accords that ended a civil war in 2005.

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