Uganda warns Burundi over attacking AU troops

Uganda's defence minister Crispus Kiyonga, President Yoweri Museveni's envoy in the talks, Museveni is the facilitator in the peace talks.

DO NOT DARE SHOOT AT AU TROOPS: Uganda’s defence minister Crispus Kiyonga, President Yoweri Museveni’s envoy in the talks tells Burundi, Museveni is the facilitator in the peace talks.

Uganda, the facilitating country in the on-and-off talks to end the deadly violence in the Central African nation of Burundi has warned the authorities in Bujumbura to reconsider their threat of attacking the African Union peacekeepers if finally deployed.

This comes as a response to the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, who publicly stated in last week that he is ready to order his troops to engaged in a fire fight with African Union troops if the continental body goes ahead and sends in troops without government consent.

“Everyone has to respect Burundi borders, in case they (AU forces) violate those principles, they will have attacked the country and every Burundian will stand up and fight against them … The country will have been attacked and it will respond,” President Nkurunziza said December 30, 2015.

Responding to Nkurunziza threats, President Yoweri Museveni’s envoy in the talks to end the crisis, Uganda’s Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga told reporters Friday Burundi ought to tread carefully.

“Shooting at the African Union peacekeepers would be a big mistake. We are all members of AU and we are bound by its resolutions. If one is not satisfied with AU’s decision, they can challenge it through proper channels like through the AU summit,” Kiyonga said.

In aftermath of the recent escalation of the deadly violence in Burundi, the African Union Peace and Security Council met earlier in December and resolved to send 5000 peacekeeping troops pending the approval of the UN Security Council.

The proposal however, has since met strong opposition and condemnation from Burundi as government officials, legislators, security forces and the general public have all roundly voiced disapproval of the plan, and took to the streets to demonstrate against it.

Meanwhile, political talks to end the turmoil were unofficially and indefinitely postponed this week after reopening in Entebbe, Uganda last week. The new date and venue for talks are yet to be determined.