The main opposition group in Burundi has urged the international community and the African Union to approve plans to send an AU peacekeeping force to the country despite President Pierre Nkurunziza opposing the move.
The country was plunged into crisis in April when Nkurunziza decided to stand for a third term, a move the opposition said was illegal and contravened the Arusha agreement of the year 2000 ending a civil war that left 300,000 people dead.
“The risk is that hesitancy on the part of the international community to support the Burundi people could lead to the resurgence of armed groups,” Leonard Nyangoma, head of the CNARED opposition group, told a press conference.
The risk is that hesitancy on the part of the international community to support the Burundi people could lead to the resurgence of armed groups.
On its part, the AU has said it is determined to end the crisis in Burundi and there are plans to send a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force once it’s approved.
However, Nkurunziza was quoted calling on Burundians to fight against the AU troops if they set foot in the country without permission dubbing it an “invasion force.”
Since Nkurunziza won the presidential elections in July, clashes between loyalists and the opposition have turned increasingly violent.
The United Nations has said that Burundi risks plunging back into civil war.
So far, 400 people have been reported dead since April and over 230,000 people have fled into neighbouring countries.