Over 228 United Nation police are to be deployed to Burundi to monitor the security and human rights situation in the east African country.
This was after majority of the UN Security Council members voted to pass the motion on Friday. Four out of the 15 member-body abstained from the vote.
According to Reuters, more than 450 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term last year, a move his opponents say violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005.
Given an increase in violence and tension the Security Council must have eyes and ears on the ground
Both the government officials and members of the opposition have been among those killed in a revenge mission violence by rival sides. About a quarter of a million people have fled the violence.
“Given an increase in violence and tension, the Security Council must have eyes and ears on the ground to predict and ensure that the worst does not occur in Burundi,” said the French Ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre.
The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power however said the resolution was not strong enough and that the U.N. police would simply be observers of Burundi’s problems.
“Police are not being deployed to protect civilians, even though civilians are in dire need of protection. That should embarrass us,” Power said. “It is not at all clear to me that a council that says repeatedly that it has learned the lesson of Rwanda has in fact done so.”
Burundi has said it would only accept up to 50 unarmed U.N. police and that its sovereignty must be fully respected.
The United Nations however needs approval from the Burundi government before sending the police.