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UN Security Council okays deployment of police to Burundi

UN Security Council okays deployment of police to Burundi

Burundi

As political violence persists in Burundi, the United Nations Security council has adopted a resolution setting the stage for deployment of UN police to the small African country.

Torture and increased disappearance of people have created fear in the country leading more than 250,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries.

Reuters reports that Burundi has been experiencing political violence since president Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in office, which his opponents see as illegal.

(Burundi) is ready to discuss and to come to an agreement on the nature, the size and the missions.

At least 439 people have been killed since then.

Nkurunziza’s government has been wary of outside intervention, last year rejecting the idea of an AU peacekeeping force and calling foreign troops an “invasion.”

The United States had been concerned about linking the United Nations efforts to broker peace in Burundi with the country’s security forces, who have been accused of human rights abuses.

The UN had said in January, that it has documented cases of Burundi’s security forces gang-raping women during searches of opposition supporters houses.

Burundi’s U.N. Ambassador Albert Shingiro said the government “is ready to discuss and to come to an agreement on the nature, the size and the missions” of a U.N. police presence that is unarmed.

He noted that the option of an “international unarmed presence” was a recommendation of the last AU heads of state summit.

France’s U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said the main objective of the resolution is to back African efforts to help Burundi emerge from its crisis.

Two weeks ago, UN human rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein had told the council that many people in Burundi are living in “terror” with almost daily grenade attacks and arbitrary arrests.

Reuters, AFP

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