Burundi former president resigns from AU mission

Former Burundi president Pierre Buyoya was handed a lifetime sentence by the country's court last month. PHOTO| FILE.

Burundi former president Pierre Buyoya has resigned from his position as an African Union High representative for Mali and the Sahel region.

Mr. Buyoya through his twitter handle said that his resignation comes after a verdict was rendered by the Burundi’s Supreme Court accused of being involved in the assassination of the country’s first democratically elected president Melchior Ndadaye.

I decided, of my own free will, to resign from my position as AU High Representative for Mali & the Sahel. I want to be free from any commitment to devote my time to my defense, despite the many obstacles,” twitted Mr. Buyoya.

This comes as Burundi’s Supreme Court on October 19th, 2020 sentenced Buyoya along with other former officials for life imprisonment for playing a role in the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.

The assassination of the former president Melchior Ndadaye plunged the country into ethnic violence that led to thousands of people losing their lives.

The trial on the assassination of the first democratically elected president was first heard in October 2019 and inducted once in December 2018.

Mr Pierre Buyoya was sentenced to life in prison and fined BIF 102 Billion in compensation to the families that lost their beloved ones.

The former AU envoy was sentenced along with other 18 former senior officials with majority of them living in the diaspora, while four of those convicted reside in the country.

Mr Pierre Buyoya ruled the country through coup d’état from September 9, 1997 to July 10, 1993 and from July 25, 1996 to April 30, 2003.

Burundi’s ministry of justice in 2018 issued seventeen international warrants of former government officials including Pierre Buyoya.


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