Burundi: African Union to send observers to monitor country’s political crisis

| March 7, 2016

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The African Union says it will send 200 military advisers and human rights observers to Burundi, 10 months into the country’s violent political crisis, triggered by events related to President Pierre Nkrunziza’s third term in office.

Human rights agencies say at least 400 people have been killed during the crisis. Another 200,000 have fled the country.

In December, the African Union proposed sending 5,000 troops to Burundi. The Nkrunziza government rejected the initiative.

Rachel Nicholson is a researcher with Amnesty International. She says: “The situation in Burundi is very tense at the moment, and it is very difficult for human rights observers to carry out their work. We have seen situations deteriorate rapidly over the last 10 months, and current trends are frequent arrests of young people, particularly from opposition neighbourhoods. The security situation has also deteriorated.”

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Photo credit: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images