Burundi Government Rules Out Taking Part in Latest Crisis Talks

Burundi’s government ruled out taking part in crisis talks scheduled to start in neighboring Tanzania Wednesday because some of those invited were involved in an attempted coup last year, a Foreign Ministry official said.

“The talks did not start well because some of the anti-democratic figures were invited,” Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Joseph Bangurambona said by phone from the capital, Bujumbura.

The negotiations in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha seek to end eight months of violence that’s left at least 400 people dead. The unrest was triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April to seek a third term in office, which the opposition says violated the country’s constitution.

Burundi holds 6 percent of the world’s nickel reserves and is a member of the East African Community, a five-nation block with a combined gross domestic product of $147.5 billion.

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