UN to push Burundi's president to end violence

United Nations Security Council Delagation arrive in capital Bujumbura to meet Burundi's president to urge end of deadly violence that has been hitting country since last April

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Samantha Power (R), US ambassador to the United Nations, shakes hands with Albert Shingiro, Burundi's permanent representative to the United Nations, upon her arrival at Bujumbura airport on January 21, 2016

UN Security Council Delegation arrived in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura to meet Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza on Friday to push him to end the violence in Burundi as the small central African country has been hit by a cycle of violence since the president’s decision to seek a third term in presidency.

The council will meet with President Nkurunziza to urge him on three main issues which includes trying to break the cycle of violence, preventing ethnic tension and promoting peace talks between the opposition and the government in its second visit to Burundi in less than a year.

The East African Community appointed Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as mediator to host peace talks between the Burundian government and the opposition, but no progress has been made since the first meeting on Dec. 28.

African Peacekeepers

In the meeting to take place at the president’s residence, the council will push Nkurunziza to agree with the African Union’s proposal to deploy 5,000 peacekeepers, which Burundi’s government rejected and called an ‘’invasion force’’.     

In December, the African Union's Peace and Security Council decided to deploy 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi in order to help to stop the recurring violence.               

The Council will then travel to Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa where the African Union offices are based, to meet with AU officials about the proposal that is believed will be a vital point of talks at the AU summit in Ethiopia on 30-31 January.     

Ongoing Violence

Burundi has been in a cycle of deadly violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s victory in a disputed election following his decision to seek a third term despite a constitutional two-term limit.

At least 400 people have been killed and about 3,500 arrested in Burundi under the government crackdown since April last year, according to the United Nations figures. Also more than 240,000 people fled to neighbouring countries, fearing a possible genocide.

There was a civil war in Burundi from 1993 to 2005 and approximately 300,000 people died in the conflict between rebels from the country's majority Hutu population and an army dominated by the Tutsi minority. 

TRTWorld and agencies