The African Union will send a team to Burundi to try to convince the government to accept a peacekeeping force that it had rejected, backing away from an earlier plan to send them with or without consent, a top AU official said.
The AU’s Peace and Security Council announced plans to deploy a 5,000-strong force in December, saying it would, if necessary, invoke an article of the AU’s charter that allowed it to intervene whether or not the government agreed.
The African Union’s Executive Council elected South Africa to continue serving on the AU’s Peace and Security Council, suggesting that the country is bidding to become – as Nigeria apparently is – a de facto permanent member.
Nigeria was also elected again on Wednesday to the increasingly powerful AU PSC, continuing its uninterrupted tenure since the council was founded in 2004.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today, in an address to the African Union Peace and Security Council, spotlighted three topics high on the regional body’s agenda – counter-terrorism, and the ongoing crises in both South Sudan and Burundi – all of which require urgent attention at the continental-level and from the wider international community.
“Burundi has descended into a deep political crisis in the past nine months. The country now stands perilously close to the brink,” said Mr. Ban, addressing the Council at the start of his three-day visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to attend the African Union (AU) Summit.