President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

The United States on Tuesday strongly condemned the killing of the leader of Burundi’s opposition party, Union for Peace and Development (UPD), Mr Zedi Feruzi, and his bodyguard in Burundi that happened on May 23.

Feruzi and his bodyguard were reportedly shot dead in Bujumbura.

“We also strongly condemn the May 22 grenade attack in a market that killed several people and wounded many more,” the US State Department said.

It said the attacks only undermined ongoing efforts to achieve peaceful resolution to the current crisis through dialogue, and called on all parties to immediately renounce the use of violence.

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The US also urged the Burundian government to conduct timely and credible investigations of the recent attacks to bring to justice those responsible.

It stressed the need to take concrete steps to ensure the safety of political actors during the electoral process.

It expressed support for the consultative political dialogue facilitated by the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Sa’id Djinnit, and envoys from the AU, the East African Community, and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

“We strongly urge all stakeholders to continue to participate in good faith in this dialogue to achieve a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

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We also welcome the May 18 communiqué by the ICGLR announcing a heads of state visit to Burundi, which we believe could contribute to facilitating this dialogue.

“We call on the Burundian government to provide the political space needed for a peaceful and credible electoral process, including through respect for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression,” the US said.