Burundi opposition figure calls for unity government to avert new conflict

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 22, 2015 8:58 AM

BUJUMBURA (Reuters) - Burundi's leading opposition politician called on President Pierre Nkurunziza to hold talks with rivals and form a national unity government after this week's election, saying it could help avert a new conflict in the poor African nation.

Agathon Rwasa, a former rebel leader like Nkurunziza in Burundi's civil war, told Reuters action was needed to prevent generals behind a failed coup in May taking up arms in the crisis sparked by Nkurunziza's bid for a third term in office.

"Some have already been waving the threat of armed struggle," he said. "For the sake of Burundi, the idea of a government of national unity can be accepted," he said, adding his demands also included new elections, possibly in a year.

(Reporting by Edmund Blair and Clement Manirabarusha; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Catherine Evans)