UN Security Council ponders Burundi military intervention

President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term bid sparked off the current conflict

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid sparked off the current conflict

The United Nations Security Council is already looking at ways of how the body can expeditiously mobilise and send troops to Burundi to prevent what many are beginning to say is the likelihood of a full-fledged civil war in the country.

The revelation comes after several experts have begun warning the worsening violence in Burundi and political leaders’ “inflammatory” rhetoric are increasingly pushing the country along a catastrophic path akin to what happened in neighbouring Rwanda 21 years ago.

Addressing the media in Geneva, Switzerland Tuesday, Scott Campbell, UN Human Rights Head for West and Central Africa Office said Burundi is “slipping and sliding we believe, unfortunately, down a very ugly slope.” he said.

The UN rights representative disclosed that “The (UN) Security Council is looking at how to react quickly should there be a need to move in forcefully with troops with preventive capacity.” Campbell added “But I think there’s a huge lesson to be learned about the risks of being passive and actually withdrawing from situations of conflict.”

Twenty one years after the Rwandan Genocide the UN still faces immense criticism for hawing pulled out from Rwanda and for not having taken a leading role in preventing or halting the bloodshed. T

he official concedes at the moment the global body is “less equipped” to stem the escalating violence in the small East African nation given the fact there’s no UN peacekeeping force in Burundi.

In Burundi’s backyard however, UN has the largest peacekeeping mission in the world in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Experts say if the UN eventually decides to deploy in Burundi, MONUC will be a good starting point.

The UN, together with the African Union (AU), European Union (EU) and the US have appealed to leaders in Burundi to swiftly return to the negotiating table and devise mechanisms to restore stability in the country.

Lately, huge number of families has been fleeing their homes in opposition strongholds of Mutakura and Cibitoke fearing the fierce government crackdown seeking to retrieve weapons from the “wrong hands”.

Last week, President Pierre Nkurunziza had issued a 5-day ultimatum for the public to surrender weapons or risk severe consequences, the five day window expired Saturday with a heavy joint and police and military operation in Bujumbura’s opposition areas.

Nearly three hundred people have lost their lives in the bloody conflict that was triggered by the ruling party CNDD-FDD’s decision to nominate Nkurunziza to run for the third term. About 200,000 have fled the country seeking refuge in Rwanda, Tanzania and other regional countries.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame recently broke his silence on the deadly violence in Burundi condemning leaders for taking part in killing their own people and playing politics with the conflict. Bujumbura reacted angrily to Kagame’s “grotesque and outrageous” comments. Throughout the course of the conflict, Burundi leaders have pointed a finger at Rwanda, claiming Kigali is hosting and arming rebels hell-bent on destabilizing Burundi. Rwanda has denied the allegations.

  • kedgimibadhi

    Burundi had been on a very strong path of recovery, peace and development. In fact the ordinary Burundians are very Welcoming people and hence the quick investments within a very short time. But greed for some African leaders!!! Oh God. The World community should not wait until millions are killed. They better get involved immediately. The world should not mince its words. It should warn the current leader that any further civilian deaths in that country would have severe consequences on the leadership.