Burundi rejects peacekeeping forces



    Burundi rejects peacekeeping forces

    Dec 20, Bujumbura: Burundi's government has said it does not need any peacekeeping force and will prevent foreign troops from entering its border.

    It has also rejected African Union's decision to deploy a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to curb ongoing violence in the troubled country.

    The African Union's Peace and Security Council agreed on Friday night to deploy an African Prevention and Protection Mission (MAPROBU) for an initial period of six months - primarily to protect civilians after months of political violence following the disputed re-election of President Pierre Nkurunziza in July, news reports said.

    The MAPROBU force is mandated to "prevent any deterioration of the security situation" as well as to protect civilians and "contribute to the creation of the necessary conditions for the successful holding of the inter-Burundian dialogue".

    Burundi government has given 96 hours to cooperate fully and accept the deployment of peacekeepers, warning that it reserved the right to enforce its decision to send in forces - as per its charter.

    At least 87 people were killed last week in the African nation in the worst violence in months linked to Nkurunziza's disputed third term.

    According to news reports, the 47-member Human Rights Council approved by consensus on Thursday in Geneva, Switzerland, a text that calls for the UN human rights chief to send in a mission of experts who are to report regularly on the human rights situation in Burundi.

    At least 400 people have been killed since protests against Nkurunziza's third presidential term started in April, and nearly 3,500 have been arrested in the political crisis, according to UN figures.

    At least 220,000 people have fled the country.

    The surge in violence has raised fears of a return to civil war, a decade after the end of a 1993-2006 conflict between rebels from the Hutu majority and an army dominated by minority Tutsis, which left 300,000 people dead.

    The Oslo Times

     
     

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