The United States of America has expressed support for the deployment of an African Union force to Burundi.
Speaking at a joint consultative meeting between the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on Saturday, January 23 in Addis Ababa, the US permanent representative to the UN, Samantha Power said her country fully supports the deployment of the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU).
She said the deployment of the Force “is in the interest of Burundi.”
The US support follows President Pierre Nkurunziza’s outright rejection of the deployment of an AU force to Burundi, which he considers as a “plot by critics of his government”.
After a two-day visit of the UNSC to Bujumbura to review the security situation on the ground, the UN delegation at the meeting with the AUPSC expressed their full support for an African-led facilitation of dialogue in Burundi.
The UN, led by its representative to the African Union, Haile Menkerios, expressed the UNSC’s joint message to President Nkurunziza to allow “urgent inclusive dialogue and the need for an expanded international presence.”
AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, believes the two Security Councils’ consultation will further strengthen the AU and UN partnerships for peace and security in Africa.
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, earlier urged the Security Council and all its members to give their full support to the decisions adopted by the PSC.
Diplomats from the United Nations Security Council embarked on a two-day visit to Bujumbura where they met with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, top Government officials, representatives of political parties, civil society and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, encouraging them to pursue an inclusive dialogue process to end the political crisis.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) earlier warned that ‘alarming’ new trends are emerging in Burundi, including “cases of sexual violence by security forces and a sharp increase in enforced disappearances and torture cases.”