Zuma makes his way to Burundi

The president & other leaders will meet with key figures in Burundi for talks about the political situation.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA/NAIROBI- President Jacob Zuma is heading to Burundi today with the leaders of Mauritania, Senegal, Gabon and Ethiopia for talks about the political situation.

He is part of a five-person delegation of African leaders.

They'll be pressing President Pierre Nkurunziza to talk to his political rivals about ending nearly a year of violence in the troubled country.

The visit was decided during a summit last month.

They've opted against a decision of sending African Union peacekeepers to Burundi and will engage directly with key political players.

More than 400 people have been killed since April, when Nkurunziza said he would run for a third term, triggering street protests and a coup attempt.

Opposition parties say his election bid, which he went on to win, was unconstitutional.

In the meantime, Zuma's postponed a planned visit to Iraq next week.

A new date for his visit is being decided by authorities in Tehran.

Additional reporting by Reuters.