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Fri Jul 01 10:03:07 CAT 2016

Military plane dispatched to fetch Zuma from Burundi

TMG Digital | 27 February, 2016 15:23
President Jacob Zuma addresses a news conference in Burundi's capital Bujumbura, February 26, 2016, after an Africa Union-sponsored dialogue in an attempt to end months of violence in Burundi.
Image by: EVRARD NGENDAKUMANA / REUTERS

A military aircraft has been dispatched to Burundi to fetch President Jacob Zuma after his presidential jet broke down in the troubled East African country on Friday‚ the South African National defence Force (SANDF) confirmed.

SANDF spokesman Siphiwe Dlamini said the president was expected to return to South Africa later on Saturday.

The Presidency said earlier on Saturday that Zuma had been unable to leave Burundi on Friday due to the official presidential aircraft Inkwazi developing “technical problems”.

He was in Burundi as the head of a high-level five-member African Union heads-of-state delegation for talks aimed at bringing an end to a crisis triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April last year to run for a third term‚ which he won in an election in July.

Following protests and a brutal government crackdown‚ violent attacks have become routine‚ raising fears of a return to the civil war fought between 1993-2006 in which about 300‚000 people died.

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