One of Burundi’s main opposition parties objected to plans for the deployment of a United Nations police force in the East African country, where almost a year of violence has left more than 470 people dead.
The UN Security Council on April 1 adopted a resolution asking Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present options in 15 days for positioning UN police personnel to help monitor security in Burundi, the Associated Press reported. The landlocked country has been rocked by unrest since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to stand for a third term, a move criticized by his opponents as unconstitutional.
“The resolution gives President Nkurunziza the power” to continue killing, the Movement for Solidarity and Development, part of the Cnared opposition coalition, said Monday in a statement handed to reporters. Only a force comprised of peacekeeping troops could stop the violence, the party said. Burundi’s government denies rights violations and says it’s fighting criminals.
The African Union’s 15-member security panel in December said it wanted to send 5,000 peacekeeping troops to Burundi. The continental bloc later backed away from the plan. The UN has warned Burundi risks sliding back into a civil conflict that could spill over into a region that includes the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s biggest copper producer.
Two people were killed late Sunday when gunmen attacked a bar in Burambi, southern Burundi, district leader Adelaide Nduwimana said by phone. Four others were wounded, including a police officer, she said.