World Bulletin / News Desk
One of the UN’s facilitators in Burundi, Said Djinnit, who recently mediated talks between the country’s government and opposition, stepped down on Thursday, a spokesman for the UN’s Burundi office told.
UN spokesman Vladimir Monteiro confirmed that Djinnit had quit his role as mediator on Thursday. Djinnit had recently mediated talks between the government and opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial plan to seek a third term in office.
Burundi has been rocked by protest since the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy named Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005, its candidate for the June presidential polls.
The opposition says Nkurunziza does not have the right to seek a third term in office, citing Burundi's constitution, which limits the number of terms a president can serve to two.
However, Burundi's Constitutional Court recently ruled that, since Nkurunziza was elected in 2005 by parliament and not by the people, his first stint in office should not be counted as a first presidential term per se.
In late April, Djinnit, who had been serving as the UN’s special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region, began mediating between the two sides in hopes of defusing the crisis.
Monteiro confirmed that Djinnit had given up his role as mediator and would return to his former position as special envoy for the Great Lakes region, to which he was appointed in mid-2014.
According to the Associated Press, several Burundian activists on Monday wrote a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonin accusing Djinnit of harboring bias during his recent mediation efforts.
Although the anti-Nkurunziza protests have largely subsided in recent weeks, Burundi remains dogged by frequent political violence.
On Wednesday, a protester was killed when security forces broke into his home and shot him dead, according to eyewitnesses.
A police officer involved in the incident fled the area immediately afterward, drawing the ire of local residents who expressed their anger by blocking a road.
At least 49 people have been killed in Burundi in anti-Nkurunziza protests that erupted two months ago.Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Haziran 2015, 17:35