Zuma to lead delegation to Burundi

The visit to Burundi by Jacob Zuma was decided by the African Union Summit last month.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma is expected to lead a high level delegation of African Heads of State to Burundi this week.

Like United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who's in Bujumbura right now, the African leaders will be trying to get President Pierre Nkurunziza talking to his political opponents to end the mounting violence in the troubled Great Lakes country.

The visit to Burundi by Zuma and his counterparts from Mauritania, Senegal, Gabon and Ethiopia was decided by the African Union summit last month.

It opted against voting on whether to send continental peacekeepers to Burundi where violence was sparked by Nkurunziza contesting and winning an unconstitutional third term in power.

The African leaders, like the UN chief, will press Nkurunziza to accept international police working alongside Burundian law enforcement officers who have been accused of excesses.