UN Security Council Agrees to Send Police to Burundi

UN Security Council Agrees to Send Police to BurundiUN Security Council Agrees to Send Police to Burundi

The UN Security Council has authorized a 228-member police force for Burundi despite concerns from some council members.

China and three other nations protested, saying Burundi did not want UN forces on the ground.

Eleven council members voted to send the police, while four members, led by China, opposed the move. Angola, Egypt and Venezuela also abstained from the vote, AFP reported.

Burundi says it will allow no more than 50 UN police, but diplomats are negotiating for a larger force. The numbers being discussed now are a far cry from the 5,000 talked about in January.

The East African country was thrown into turmoil last year when President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in office even though the country’s constitution calls for a two-term limit.

The constitution was part of a 2005 peace agreement that ended the country’s civil war. Nkurunziza completed his second five-year term in 2015.

At least 450 people have been killed in the ensuing violence and more than 220,000 have fled their homes.

Human rights’ groups have accused the government of going after its political opponents, but government officials have also fallen victim in retaliatory attacks.