World

Burundi crisis talks in limbo days ahead of presidential poll after government fails to attend

  • A cyclist carries a metal gate on the back of his bicycle in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    A cyclist carries a metal gate on the back of his bicycle in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman and child sit at the back of a church during Sunday service in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    A woman and child sit at the back of a church during Sunday service in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

  • Worshipers attend Sunday service in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

    Worshipers attend Sunday service in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday July 19, 2015. As Burundians are getting ready to go to the poll Tuesday July 21, three candidates, including two former presidents, announced their withdrawal from Burundi's upcoming presidential race, predicting the contest in this restive African nation will not be free and fair. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)  (The Associated Press)

The facilitator of talks in Burundi aimed at ending the unrest caused by the president's controversial bid for a third term says government representatives failed to show up, forcing the mediation process to be adjourned just days ahead of Tuesday's presidential polls.

Ugandan Defense Minister Crypus Kiyonga, who is acting as mediator, stopped short of saying the talks had collapsed and said the government should be given a chance to explain itself.

Earlier United Nations-backed negotiations between the parties collapsed after the opposition insisted on President Pierre Nkurunziza's exit.

Burundi has been rocked by violence that has left more than 100 people dead and over 144,000 refugees have fled the country since Nkurunziza announced his bid for a third term in April.