25 January 2016

Burundi: Differences in Approach Complicate Peace Process

The United Nations Organisation holds that the way out of the crisis in Burundi is not through the use of force but through political dialogue. The African Union on its part holds that the deployment of the AU peacekeeping force of over 5,000 soldiers is an imperative, RFI reported.

Members of the UN Security Council delegation last weekend had discussions with officials of the AU Peace and Security Council in the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The UN officials before the meeting, had discussions with authorities and opposition officials in Burundi on Friday, January 22, 2016 on ways of resolving the crisis in the country that started in April last year. RFI reports citing UN Security officials who said they do not completely agree with the approach of the AU Peace and Security Council. The UN therefore stands for the promotion of dialogue, deployment of African military and human rights observers. The African Union continues to insist on the deployment of a peacekeeping force, stating that after AU members must have voted in favour of the deployment, the decision will be forwarded to the UN for endorsement.

Meanwhile the UN Security Council delegation during their stay in Bujumbura, had discussions with the Burundian President, Pierre Nkurunziza. The delegation leader, Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins of Angola - who co-led the visit alongside United States Ambassador Samantha Power and deputy French Ambassador, Alexis Lamek said over the UN Radio that they reviewed the security situation in the county as well as the proposal for mediation by the East African Community (EAC), led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. "We also agreed that the Council should look at how it could support this mediation in order to produce the results that would lower current tensions in Burundi," the UN News Centre quoted Ismael Gaspar Martins as having said. The UN Security Council delegation visited Burundi on the wake of the warning by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that "alarming" new trends are emerging in Burundi, including cases of sexual violence by security forces and a sharp increase in enforced disappearances and torture cases.


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