Belgium has said it is ready to join efforts in Burundi’s peacekeeping mission.
In an interview with France24, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said his country is ready to send a peacekeeping force in Burundi, depending on a UN vote.
The former colonial power in Burundi is the first country to announce its readiness to participate in an intervention mission in the country that plunged into crisis when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a disputed election.
“After the Rwandan genocide, the idea of not intervening in former colonies or mandated territories is a mistake,” he said referring to the death of Belgian peacekeepers in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
“Burundi has no problems with Belgium and would not wish to have any problems let alone going to war with Belgium,” said Burundi’s Foreign Minister Alain-Aimé Nyamitwe in reaction to his statement.
“We therefore ask Belgium not to interfere with Burundi’s affairs,” he said adding that Burundi wants to maintain cordial relations with its former colonial power.
Burundi accused its former colonial ruler of instigating the attempted coup against President Nkurunziza in May, an allegation that Belgium called absurd.
Nkurunziza’s quest to remain in power sparked weeks of street protests that were brutally suppressed, and a failed coup.