18°C / 2°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 2°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 10°C
  • 1°C
  • Sun
  • 14°C
  • 1°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 13°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 22°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 14°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 17°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 14°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 12°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 9°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 3°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 3°C
  • Sat
  • 18°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 11°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 22°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 26°C
  • 6°C
  • Sat
  • 17°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 13°C
  • 10°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 13°C
  • 3°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 10°C
  • 1°C
  • Sat
  • 13°C
  • 0°C
  • Sun
  • 16°C
  • 2°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 7°C
  • Wed
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Thu
  • 15°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 15°C
  • 9°C
  • Sat
  • 13°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 14°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 9°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Sat
  • 22°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 13°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 5°C
  • Sat
  • 21°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 16°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 14°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 14°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 12°C
  • 7°C
  • Sat
  • 12°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 15°C
  • 6°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 10°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 1°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 2°C
  • Fri
  • 22°C
  • 4°C
  • Sat
  • 16°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 14°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 17°C
  • 3°C

AU backs away from imposing peacekeepers on Burundi

Diplomats said South Africa and Tanzania were among those opposed to sending an unwanted force.

Heads of states at the African Union summit opening in Addis Ababa. Picture: African Union Facebook official page.
African Union,Burundi,Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza,Burundi crisis,Burundi coup,African Union Summit,African Union mission
World

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union will send a team to Burundi to try to convince the government to accept a peacekeeping force that it had rejected, backing away from an earlier plan to send them with or without consent, a top AU official said.

The AU’s Peace and Security Council announced plans to deploy a 5,000-strong force in December, saying it would, if necessary, invoke an article of the AU’s charter that allowed it to intervene whether or not the government agreed.

After President Pierre Nkurunziza, whose bid for a third term sparked the crisis, refused to accept the force, some AU members appear to have wavered. Gambia's president, Yahya Jammeh, said some states would only act with Burundi's consent.

“We want dialogue with the government of Burundi,” Smail Chergui, the AU’s Commissioner for Peace and Security, told reporters after an AU summit on Sunday.

He said African leaders had “decided to send a high-level delegation to that country so that they hold dialogue with the government on ... the deployment of the force.”

It highlights sensitivities among some African leaders, who experts say fear that sending troops against a government’s will could set a precedent that be turned on them in future.

The delay will worry Western powers, who fear Burundi will fall back into ethnic conflict without intervention. UN rights officials have said Burundi needs a beefed up international presence to halt the slide into fighting.

Violence in the nine-month-old crisis has already killed more than 400 people, in a country that emerged from an ethnically charged civil war in 2005.

UN assistant secretary general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, told Reuters on Saturday that the African Union, if it did not send peacekeepers, should at least boost the number of human rights monitors it has there or send some police.

Asked if more monitors would go, Chergui told Reuters: “That question is too early. We are sending a high-level delegation so we are hoping that we will achieve an agreement with the government on everything.”

Diplomats at the summit said South Africa and Tanzania, two main brokers of the peace deal that brought Nkurunziza to power in 2005, were among those opposed to sending an unwanted force.

“The longer this situation continues, the more people will be killed and affected,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We cannot wait any longer, that is why it is a matter of urgency, that I am urging African leaders to act in one voice,” he said in Addis Ababa, adding that Burundi’s government should “listen very carefully and engage in inclusive dialogue”.


Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN reserves the right to close comments on selected content pages.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.