Burundi’s ex-president Pierre Buyoya said on Wednesday that he had quit as the African Union’s envoy to Mali to clear his name of alleged involvement with the murder of his successor.
Buyoya resigned from his diplomatic position on Tuesday after being convicted in absentia in his native Burundi for the 1993 assassination of then-president Melchior Ndadaye.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Mali’s capital Bamako, the 71-year-old said he had stepped down voluntarily.
Buyoya served as the African Union’s envoy to troubled Mali and the Sahel region from 2012.
“I considered it preferable to free myself from these responsibilities in order to have full freedom to defend myself and clear my name,” he told reporters.
“I also said that this situation could hinder” the AU, he said.
Buyoya, an ethnic Tutsi, first came to power in Burundi in a coup in 1987.
He stepped down in 1993 in the former Belgian colony’s first democratic elections in…
Source: Guardian Newspaper