Peace Talks Founder as Burundi Government Refuses to Take Part

(Bloomberg) -- Burundi’s government declined to take part in the latest peace talks due to begin Wednesday in neighboring Tanzania as it pushes ahead with plans to revitalize the economy.

Authorities have suggested postponing the East African-mediated negotiations until next month, Burundi’s government said on Twitter. The ruling CNDD-FDD party won’t attend the talks because there’s no agreement over which groups will be involved, the local Iwacu newspaper cited spokeswoman Nancy Ninette Mutoni as saying.

A political crisis that began in the landlocked country of about 11 million in April 2015 has claimed at least 1,000 lives and sent refugees fleeing to neighbors including Tanzania. The government says the crisis is over and has unveiled a 10-year plan to boost the economy with agriculture and mining.

Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni and former Tanzania President Benjamin Mkapa have in recent years led a mediation team to try to help Burundi’s government and its opponents negotiate a solution.

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