The African Union (AU) has warned Burundi against moves to jeopardise peace efforts after an international arrest warrant was issued for its ex-leader, Pierre Buyoya, and 16 other officials. They are accused of being behind the 1993 assassination of the country’s first democratically-elected Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye. His killing triggered a brutal ethnic civil war in which 300 000 people died.
Buyoya has warned that the current government risks stirring up a new wave of ethnic hatred.
There’s been unrest in the country since current President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term and won a disputed election in 2015.
Buyoya says the arrest warrant is politically motivated and undermines his integrity. He accuses the Burundian government of going back on an earlier peace deal that said the 1993 assassination of Ndadaye could only be dealt with by the country’s truth and reconciliation commission.
Buyoya now works for the African Union. It criticised the issuing of the arrest warrants and suggested the priority should be solving the political crisis.
The African Union says it’s worried the lack of progress at peace talks for Burundi.