BURUNDI: UN Considers Sending Peace Keepers to Prevent ‘Possible Genocide’

BUJUMBURA NOVEMBER 13, 2015( CISA) – The United Nations (UN) Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to pull Burundi back from the brink of “possible genocide,” that called for urgent talks and laid the groundwork for peacekeepers to be sent to stop the killings on November 12.

“We know that in the worst case what we are talking about is a possible genocide and we know that we need to do everything that we possibly can to prevent that,” said British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, whose country chairs the Security Council this month.

The vote on Thursday followed an urgent call by international leaders for a meeting of Burundi’s government and opposition amid fears the country is at risk of a Rwanda-like genocide.

The resolution requested that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon present options to the council within 15 days on “the future presence of the United Nations in Burundi” to help end the crisis.

UN officials plans are considering two options: rushing UN peacekeepers from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Burundi, or deploying a regional force under the African Union, if the violence spirals out of control.

The United Nations, European Union and African Union further issued a joint call for a dialogue between representatives of Burundi’s government and opposition in Addis Ababa, where the AU is based, or Kampala, Uganda’s capital.

“No effort can be spared to achieve an end to the violence and to foster a political solution,” said EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, African Union chairman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson.

At least 240 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza his bid to prolong his term in office in April. More than 210,000 people have fled the country since then.