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Burundi: U.N. warns peacekeepers ill-equipped if violence spirals

Burundi: U.N. warns peacekeepers ill-equipped if violence spirals

South Africa

The United Nations has warned that it is not ready to deal with the Burundi violence, if it escalates.

In a recently released memo, the international organisation has said deploying peacekeepers would be a last resort, since it is not equipped to deal with intense ethnic conflict in the country.

“Current planning considers that any United Nations uniformed deployment would be a measure of last resort, where political dialogue and preventative deployments have failed to avert widespread conflict and where no first-responder-nation or coalition-of-the-willing has stepped forward. But a truly worst-case scenario will result in a scale of violence beyond the United Nations capacity to protect,” the memo said.

A truly worst-case scenario will result in a scale of violence beyond the United Nations capacity to protect

The Burundi crisis has resulted in the deaths of at least 400 people and the displacement of 200,000 others.

Violence has worsened since President Pierre Nkurunziza, decided to run for a third term in office, a move opponents said was illegal. He won the disputed election in July, last year.

According to the memo, the UN will be unable to fight the violence, in the event no countries stepped up to protect the civilians.

A plan to deploy 5,000 peacekeepers by the African Union, has been rejected by the president, saying that the country will fight them back.

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