Officials of the UN Security Council are expected in Burundi on Thursday to hold talks and seek an end to the violence by convincing President Pierre Nkurunziza to accept an African Union peacekeeping force.
It is the second visit of the council to Burundi in nine months as the UN seeks to calm tension which could lead to violence and human rights abuses.
“There needs to be some kind of international force with protection of civilians mandate present on the ground in Burundi,” the US Ambassador to the UN said.
Angola’s Ambassador to the UN, Ismael Gaspar Martins believes the presence of African Union observers in Burundi is necessary to give an objective observation of the situation on the ground to the international community.
The AU decision to send 5000 forces to Burundi last December was rejected by Pierre Nkurunziza accused of violating a peace deal which ended the civil war.
A press release from the AU has expressed the need for an evolution in the situation following the UN Security Council’s visit.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says the seriousness of the situation in Burundi is a threat to the Arusha agreement on peace and security as well as regional peace and security.
Russia’s deputy Ambassador to the UN, Petr Iliichev has called on everyone to be “suspicious” about Burundi.
Violence erupted in Burundi after Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term. Although he succeeded in the bid, the vote was boycotted by most of his opponents who criticised the move as being anti-democratic.
Supporters of Pierre Nkurunziza claimed his bid had a legal backing.
According to UN estimates, close to 439 people were killed during the violence while 240,000 others fled to neighbouring countries.