ADDIS ABABA (AA) – African Union is mulling an urgent action to stop Burundi from descending into genocide, the union posted on its Twitter account Thursday.
According to the tweets, members of the AU Peace and Security Council, a powerful body that deploys peacekeepers, discussed the military preparedness and capability of the regional East African Standby Force.
“There will be a possible deployment to Burundi,” the union tweeted.
“Africa will not allow genocide to take place on its soil,” it added.
An African diplomatic source told Anadolu Agency that the recommended number of troops for the Burundi mission was around 5,000.
“We will start preparations to deploy the troops soon,” the diplomat said.
Smail Chergui, the union’s peace and security commissioner, also tweeted that “killings in Burundi must stop immediately”.
Meanwhile, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein on Thursday warned that the country was on the brink of civil war.
Burundi has been gripped by instability since April when the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy named Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for the presidency. Nkurunziza has been in power since 2005.
Many opposition supporters, plus some backers of Nkurunziza, have been killed amid the turmoil.
According to UN, at least 3,496 people have been arrested in relation to the political crisis in the country.
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