African Union to send monitors to Burundi – South African President
March 02, 2016 The African Union recently made public its plans to send 100 human rights monitors and 100 military monitors into Burundi. The east African country is currently enduring its worst crisis since a civil war ended a decade ago.
Speaking during a visit to the country, South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma said:
“The government of Burundi has committed to the following: the government will continue the steps it has begun to open up space for free political activity by the people of Burundi and ensure the freedom of the media. The AU (Africa Union) will deploy one hundred human rights observers and one hundred military monitors to Burundi to monitor the situation,”
President Zuma didn’t mention when the monitors would arrive in Burundi, but he however when on to say:
“We are pleased with the participation and contributions of all the sectors. The high level delegation of the heads of state and government express its concerns about the levels of violence, loss of life and the general state of political instability in the country. We are, however, pleased that all parties expressed strong commitment to resolving whatever political problems exist through inclusive and peaceful dialogue,”
Regarding the civil unrest, Western powers have urged African countries to act so as to avoid Rwanda-type genocide.
The African Union had originally planned to send a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force, which Nkurunziza’s government rejected. However, the decision to send monitors suggests a compromise had been reached with the government.