We will fight AU troops, says Burundi’s Nkurunziza

President Pierre Nkurunziza has threatened his troops will attack AU peacekeepers

President Pierre Nkurunziza has threatened his troops will attack AU peacekeepers

In his first public response to the African Union proposal to deploy peacekeepers to Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza has threatened his military will attack foreign troops if AU follows through with its decision.
Addressing the fragile nation in the central province of Gitega Wednesday, Pierre Nkurunziza warned the African Union not to violate his country’s sovereignty by sending in troops.

“Burundi is an independent and sovereign country, which has its values and orders which must be respected by any country. If there are any foreign forces sent to Burundi without consent, this will be considered as invasion and every Burundian will stand up and fight them,” he said adding Bujumbura would only cooperate if the UN Security council endorse the proposal.

The UN body has already backed the AU proposal and appealed to Burundian authorities to fully embrace the deal.
Nkurunziza’s remarks come after several top government and security officials, and thousands of Burundians have voiced their opposition to AU’s plan to send troops to Burundi.

Meanwhile, in its 565th meeting on December 17, 2015, the AU Peace and Security Council expressed its determination to take all appropriate measures against any party or actor that would impede the implementation of its resolution.

In case of non-acceptance, the Council recommended to the Assembly of the Union to take additional actions in conformity with AU powers.

In a related development, the African Union has welcomed the recent resumption of the Inter-Burundian dialogue in Entebbe, Uganda.

In her press release issued this Tuesday, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, urged all the parties to rise to the challenges at hand and extend unreserved cooperation to the mediation, in order to put an end to the violence which is afflicting their country and find a lasting solution to the current crisis.

She reiterated the AU’s readiness to engage, without any delay, in discussions with the Government of Burundi, to agree on the modalities for the deployment of peacekeepers, stressing the initiative will go a long way in contributing to the creation of conditions conducive to the successful completion of the inter-Burundian dialogue.

After months of raging violence and intransigence on both sides, players in the conflict met in Uganda but the disagreed sharply prompting worries there will be no progress on the dialogue front.