The African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council has proposed sending 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi, invoking a rule which allows it to deploy a force without the consent of Burundi’s leader, said a diplomat who was at an AU meeting on the issue.
Burundi’s presidency, which could not be reached for comment, has previously rejected calls for a peacekeeping mission.
President Pierre Nkurunziza has 96 hours to respond to the AU resolution which was drawn up late on Thursday and likely to be rubber-stamped by the AU Peace and Security Council in coming days.
“We have authorised the deployment of a 5,000-man force for Burundi whose mandate includes the protection of civilians,” a diplomat from a member country of the council told Reuters.
President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government this week dismissed proposals for any peacekeeping force.
“Those recommending such are hiding many other intentions.”
The troops AU plans to send to Burundi will be under the banner of the East African Standby Force [EASF].
The African Union (AU) said the troops to Burundi are in a bid to stop “another genocide” from happening on African soil.