Burundi Threatens to Sue AU Over Unpaid Peacekeepers’ Allowances

Burundi will sue the African Union over months of unpaid wages for its peacekeeping soldiers serving under the continental organization in Somalia, President Pierre Nkurunziza said.

The troops helping to restore peace and security in the Horn of Africa nation haven’t received allowances for 10 months after the European Union, which finances the AU mission, froze their pay as part of sanctions against Burundi to persuade the government to resolve a political crisis sparked by Nkurunziza’s decision to run for another term. 

“All that belongs to Burundi cannot, under any circumstances, be diverted,” Nkurunziza said in remarks broadcast by state television. “We will sue them until they pay us with damages,” he said, without elaborating in which court the government would file the suit.

The peacekeeping force known as Amisom has 22,126 soldiers and police officers from six African nations, including Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. Burundi has contributed 5,432 troops, second only to Uganda’s 6,223, according to its website.

There are talks between the United Nations and the African Union to settle the matter, Hubert Price, who heads the UN Support Office in Somalia, told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu, last month.

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