- The AU has deliberated and agreed to deploy forces to Burundi in a few weeks’ time through the Eastern African Standby Force (EASF).
- Analysts have send warning that the ongoing forced civilian disarmament operation and targeted assassinations in Burundi could slide the country into a possible genocide.
- The African Union is on standby to deploy troops should talks between the Burundi government and opposition fail.
- The government of Burundi has said it is willing to start a dialogue with the opposition after initial stages of international intervention.
Eastern African Standby Force (EASF)
AU Peace and Security Council is working on the nature of the mandate that will govern the EASF operations in Burundi.
EASF has 5,300 troops from 10 member states including Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
It has been designed to respond to diverse security situations in between 14 and 30 days depending on the situation.
EASF has headquarters at the Karen Defence College in Nairobi.
It is part of the larger five-region African Standby Force and can be deployed anywhere on the continent depending on the circumstances.
EASF comprises five battalions of about 800 troops each, three motorized battalion, one mechanized battalion, one light infantry battalions, two companies of combat engineers, one platoon of military police numbering 500, one unit of Level II medical hospital orderlies and over 300 civilians for the humanitarian component.
The deployment in Burundi would mark the first time the continent is applying pre-emptive intervention and also a demonstration that the five regional standby forces have attained full operational capability.