AU vows not to allow genocide in Burundi

A truck dumping dead bodies in a mass grave in Burundi.

A truck dumping dead bodies in a mass grave in Burundi.

The African Union has pledged to do everything and anything in its power to prevent the raging deadly violence in Burundi to degenerate into a genocide.

“Africa will not allow another genocide to take place on its soil,” the African Union’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) said via its Twitter handle.

The continental body’s council members were meeting today at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to deliberate on the  situation in Burundi, which has recently spiraled out of control.

AU’s team just reported back from Burundi saying the situation on the ground is ominous and it that it calls for urgency to stop the killings.

Last week’s mass killings in Bujumbura has intensified global fears that the turmoil in the Central African state is descending into a civil war or genocide as was the case with neighbouring Rwanda 21 years ago.

AU announcement came as the United Nations Human Rights Council was meeting in Geveva, Switzerland over the crisis. The council unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the United Nations to swiftly send rights experts to Bujumbura to probe the deadly violence.

The council roundly condemned the killings in Burundi perpetrated by all parties; security forces and armed opposition groups.

Also this Thursday,  the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned was “on the very cusp of civil war” as he appealed for action by the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

Over 400 people have perished in the bloodshed and more than 220,000 have fled to neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and DRC.

Many are calling for the AU, UN and regional countries to mobilise and send in a peacekeeping force to stem the violence but the government in Bujumbura is strongly opposed to the idea charging foreign troops would come in with “ulterior motives.”

Video footages, and gruesome images of bullet-riddled bodies littering Bujumbura streets, circulating on social media have drawn widespread condemnation and outrage as many sympathizers are taking to the web via viral hashtags ‪#‎IAmBurundi‬ and ‪#‎PrayForBurundi to express solidarity with the Burundian people.

“My name is Jessica . I am Rwandan and a world citizen. My friends,former classmates and fellow humans are being killed by their government in the neighboring country of Burundi. Let the world know. I AM BURUNDI. Don’t blindly follow only western media and allow the same thing that happened in Rwanda to repeat itself in Burundi.I nominate you who’s reading this right now to let the world know of the crisis in Burundi. ‪#‎IAmBurundi‬ ‪#‎PrayForBurundi” one message read Rwandan posted on her Facebook. ‬