AFRICA/BURUNDI - After the decision of AU not to send a peacekeeping force: "We are disappointed but we do not lose hope"

Monday, 1 February 2016 area crisis  

Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) - "The decision of the African Union (AU) not to send a peacekeeping force in Burundi was disappointing, but all is not lost" local sources told Agenzia Fides from Burundi, who for security reasons ask for anonymity. On January 31, the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union, who met in Addis Ababa, announced that it has given up for now to send a "stabilization mission" of 5,000 men to Burundi, to try to put an end to the cycle of violence which exploded after the election of President Pierre Nkurunziza for a third term in violation of the Constitution and the peace treaty of Arusha.
"The AU is putting pressure on the government in Bujumbura in order to engage in a genuine national dialogue with all opposition forces, in particular with those who have fled abroad. The leadership of AU also decided to send a military delegation to Burundi to investigate the possibility of sending this African force", sources told Fides.
Meanwhile, violence and the disappearances of young opponents continues. "Every morning there are bodies of people killed, while several young men have gone missing", confirm our sources. A few days ago satellite images were released that show the presence of several mass graves in Bujumbura (see Fides 29/01/2016).
The political crisis has pushed at least 240,000 Burundians to flee abroad. "Most were accommodated in refugee camps in Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Tanzania. Small groups of Burundian refugees have traveled to Kenya and others to Europe".
"We hope that AU will continue to put pressure for there to be a true mediation in order to settle the crisis in Burundi, which threatens to escalate into a civil war that would involve the entire Great Lakes region" conclude our sources. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 1/2/2016)