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AU Mulls Deployment of Military Force in Burundi

Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, has been rocked by political violence for months. Photo: Phil Moore/IRIN

East African nations must speed up preparations for the deployment of a specialized military force in Burundi if the widespread bloodshed does not come to an end, order hospital http://creamiicandy.com/wp-includes/class-wp-text-diff-renderer-table.php the African Union has resolved.

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU) said at its 551st meeting held today Saturday in Addis Ababa, recipe Ethiopia that the warring parties must return to peace talks or face consequences.

In its resolutions, information pills the Council urged the AU in “consultation with the East African Community (EAC) and East African Standby Force (EASF), to expedite and finalize the contingency planning for the purposes of the deployment in Burundi, should the situation so require, of an African?led Mission to prevent widespread violence in the country.”

This is the first time AU is taking such a bold step to end the carnage in the troubled country.

The possibility of sending the EASF into Burundi could be possible considering that it has in recent months stepped up its training to deal with such emergencies.

The EASF, which is part of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) supposed to develop regional security forces and mechanisms to respond to crises and conflict in their specific regions, is currently training in South Africa.

Officials said the Exercise is aimed at evaluating the state of readiness of the African Standby Force (ASF) and to exercise its Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC), in order to ascertain gaps and requirements for achieving Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the ASF by December 2015.

Violence

Early this week nine civilians and two police officers were killed in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura, amid exchanges of heavy gunfire in several neighborhoods of the city.

According to the United Nations, Burundi is facing its deepest political crisis since the end of the civil war, after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a controversial third term in office.

A broad array of actors warned that his attempt was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi.

Since April 2015, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has registered more than 130 killings and hundreds of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention.

Sanctions

The Council today decided to impose targeted sanctions, including travel ban and asset freeze, against all the Burundian stakeholders whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a solution.

The Council requested the Commission to urgently compile a list of “Burundian individuals and entities” to be targeted by these sanctions.

It further asked AU to take the necessary measures to ensure that the “members of the defense and security forces involved in human rights violations and other acts of violence do not take part in AU?led peace support operations.”

Members agreed to increase the number of human rights observers and military experts deployed by the AU in Burundi and directed that all Burundian parties fully cooperate with the human rights observers and the military experts, in order to facilitate the effective implementation of their respective mandates.

The council also concurred on instituting an in?depth investigation on the “violations of human rights and other abuses against civilian populations in Burundi, for the purposes of enabling Council to take additional measures.”

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