UNSC Mulls Sending Police to Burundi

UNSC Mulls Sending Police to BurundiUNSC Mulls Sending Police to Burundi

The United Nations Security Council is considering whether to send up to 228 UN police to Burundi to monitor the security and human rights situation in the East African country, where deadly political violence has simmered for more than a year.

France circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member council on Friday that would deploy police for one year and ask UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to report immediately on grave security incidents or human rights abuses, Reuters reported.

Burundi’s UN ambassador, Albert Shingiro, said on Friday his country would only accept up to 50 unarmed UN police, adding that “the sovereignty of Burundi must be fully respected.”

More than 450 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term last year, a move that his opponents say violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended a civil war in 2005.

Government officials and members of the opposition have been among those killed in tit-for-tat violence by rival sides. A Burundian member of the East African Legislative Assembly was shot dead on Wednesday.

The violence in Burundi has caused alarm in a region where memories of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide remain raw. Like Rwanda, Burundi has an ethnic Hutu majority and a Tutsi minority.