WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the postponement of peace talks aimed at addressing the ongoing crisis in Burundi.  The talks were scheduled to resume this week in Arusha, Tanzania:

“I’m deeply disappointed that the peace talks have been postponed.  Although both the government and the opposition bear responsibility for violence over the past nine months, it’s troubling that President Nkurunziza continues to place his own ambitions above the welfare of his citizens.  

“The continued political instability in Burundi has come at the cost of far too many lives.  I support the efforts of the East African Community to find a political solution to the crisis, and I support continued contingency planning for an African Union force to protect civilians threatened by violence.”