Burundi’s government should allow international investigators to probe the alleged involvement of a “third force” in the East African nation’s eight-month crisis, a senior United Nations official said.
“If we are told there are elements outside of Burundi who are now involved, who are providing resources, this needs to be investigated,” Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng said in an interview distributed Wednesday by the UN. “I am sure those investigators may identify if there is a third force or not.”
Violence spurred by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term has left more than 400 people dead in Burundi since April. Nkurunziza’s opponents say he violated a two-term limit set out in accords that ended a civil war in 2005. The African Union is planning to send as many as 5,000 peacekeepers to quell the bloodshed, a plan Burundian authorities have rejected.
Burundi’s government, some opposition members and officials from other countries in the region are due to hold talks next week in Uganda.