African Union has vowed not to send troops to Burundi without consent from the government.
This decision was established during a closed door session at the 26th AU ordinary session of the Assembly of heads of states and governments. Leaders met for an unprecedented vote on the potential deployment of 5,000 troops.
Dubbed the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU), the troops were meant to help disarm militia and collect illegal weapons.
In December the AUs Peace and Security Council adopted a communique in which 5,000 peacekeepers would be deployed to protect civilians in the country.
The Burundi government has since then vowed to fight any troops that enter its border terming it as an ‘invasion’.
The East African nation is facing its worst crisis since the end of a civil war that lasted for more than a decade.
The country’s turmoil begun when president Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek a third term in office. Since then, at least 400 people have died and thousands have fled the country to neighbouring nations.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged African leaders to work together to avert the crisis.
‘‘The longer this situation continues the more people will be killed and affected, and we have almost one million people who have been affected, refugees and displaced people, we cannot wait any longer,’‘ he said.
‘‘I am urging African leaders to act in one voice, and also particularly urging president Nkurunziza and his government to listen very carefully and engage in inclusive dialogue.’‘
Nevertheless, newly elected AU Chairman Idriss Deby said Africa must keep a close eye on Burundi and remain engaged to resolve crisis.
The AU announced on Sunday that they will send a high level delegation to Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital to engage with the government on MAPROBU and the continuation of dialogue in Tanzania’s Arusha.