Two former Burundi Presidents, Jean-Baptiste Bagaza and Domitien Ndayizeye pleaded with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on 21st January, 2016 to back the deployment of an international peacekeeping mission to Burundi to prevent genocide.
Diplomat representative of the 15-Member UNSC arrived in Burundi’s capital to assess the current situation in the country at the brink of a civil war and economic turmoil for the second visit in less that a year.
The Security Council is slated to meet with Burundi’s current President Pierre Nkurunziza on 22nd January but met with former presidents who appealed for the deployment of troops in the country to counter the violence and avert genocide.
On the same day the UN convoy arrived grenade explosions were heard in the capital with pro-government protestors flying banners that sent message for the international community to avoid meddling with the sovereign state’s affairs.
Former Presidents Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (1976-87) and Domitien Ndayizeye (2003-5) urged the international intervention to avoid turning Burundi into ‘another Rwanda’ and inflicting heavy casualties on innocent civilians.
In December Burundi rejected the African Union offer to send 5,000 troops to safeguard the country. The rebels have welcomed international mediation saying it would help the ‘dictatorial rule’ Nkurunziza is asserting in Burundi.
Burundi plunged into violence since April 2015 and the violence has claimed hundreds of lives with thousands displaced both internationally and domestically.