Burundians pay tribute to late AU representative

28 Jun 2011

Burundians pay tribute to late AU representative

Bujumbura, June 27, 2011_Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza, Monday paid tribute to the "unforgettable" actions of the late Special Representative of the African Union (AU) Commission in the country, Mamadou Bah, who died 23 June in a Nairobi, Kenya, hospital.

Nkurunziza signed the condolence register, opened at the AU office in Bujumbura, where other local political figures and diplomats have been filing past to pay their last respects to the deceased.

"It is a monument that will remain forever in the hearts of Burundians," said the country's leader in an emotion-laden voice.

"We worked together during the negotiations for a comprehensive agreement on a cease-fire in the civil war in Burundi and in its implementation," he said, adding that the diplomat from Guinea "listened to everyone and gave us a hope of lasting peace."

In a press release Monday, the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) also mourned and commended the deceased.

"A connoisseur of African geopolitics and outstanding negotiator, Mamadou Bah was the first head of diplomatic mission in Burundi to set up a mechanism for the cease-fire through the deployment of observers and peacekeeping troops," the statement said.

"Burundians need everything except being plunged back into another war and woe to him who will try to rekindle it," Bah warned in 2007 with the outspokenness that was his character, said the statement.

Mamadou Bah died at the age of 74 after over a decade of active diplomacy in Burundi and the Great Lakes