Burundi: African Union abandons plans to send peacekeepers to Burundi

| February 8, 2016

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The African Union (AU) has abandoned its plan to send 5,000 peacekeepers to help restore stability in Burundi.

AU officials said they would instead encourage political dialogue between Burundi’s opposing sides.

Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision last April to seek a third term in office has triggered ongoing violence and fears that Burundi is sliding into ethnic conflict.

Mr. Nkurunziza fiercely opposes the AU’s plan to send peacekeepers.

The AU could have deployed troops without Burundi’s consent. A clause in the AU charter allows it to intervene in a Member State under grave circumstances such as war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. The clause has never been used before.

But top AU diplomat Ibrahima Fall said such a move would have been “unimaginable.”

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