News BlogCentral Southern Africa

Africa unleashes its peacekeeping force in Burundi (v2)

(B2) The latest events in Burundi seem to have overcome the latest reluctance. The African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) decided on Thursday (December 17) to authorize the deployment of an African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi (MAPROBU).

Conditional deployment

5000 men should constitute this force which will have an initial duration of six months, renewable. But this deployment is subject to one condition: the Bujumbura agreement. If the Burundian government does not give its agreement, within 4 days, the African Union will then have to decide on the deployment of the African force on standby from East Africa.

Mandate to prevent violence and protect the population

The mandate of Maprobu extends over several actions, in particular “ prevent any deterioration of the security situation” and “ contribute, within the limits of its resources and in its areas of deployment, to the protection of civilian populations under imminent threat ". She will have to " facilitate (an agreement on) the disarmament of militias and illegal groups, the protection of political figures and other actors whose security would be threatened, and the protection of the personnel of the African Union, its property and its installations”.

Decision hailed in Brussels

(Update Dec 19) A decision welcomed in Brussels on Saturday (December 19) by the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, and the Commissioner responsible for Development, Neven Mimica. “ The African Union is showing strong leadership in efforts to stop the violence in Burundi, to protect civilians and to pave the way for a political solution » said the two European representatives in a press release translated by B2. The European Union " will continue to coordinate its efforts and support with the African Union, the UN and the region “, they added.

Determined refusal in Bujumbura

(updated Dec 21) The Burundian government quickly refused, through President Pierre Nkurunziza's spokesperson, the arrival of African Union troops. “ If AU troops came without government approval, then it would be an invasion and occupation force » declared Jean-Claude Karerwa Ndenzako, according to AFP. And the Burundian government would reserve “ the right to act accordingly ". On Monday, the country's two chambers, dominated by the ruling party, endorsed this position. Joined by our colleagues from RFI, Jean-Claude Karerwa went further. " The country is more than 98% peaceful. There really is no risk of genocide or civil war in Burundi. That is the opinion of people who do not control the situation on the ground. »


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).