Security Council and African Union to hold talks on Burundi

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US Ambassador Samantha Power being greeted by Burundian officials on arrival in the country this week. Photo: UNIC Bujumbura.

A Security Council delegation will meet this weekend with the African Union in continued efforts to resolve the crisis in Burundi.

Ambassadors from the 15 countries that comprise the chamber have concluded a two-day mission to the country where they held talks with political leaders and members of civil society.

Burundi has been in turmoil since April, following the decision by President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for a contested third term.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Security Council members will meet with the African Union (AU) in Ethiopia on Saturday.

Last month, the AU had proposed to send 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi to protect civilians caught in the conflict.

The offer was rejected by the government.

United States Ambassador Samantha Power said Council members urged the authorities to allow observers into the country, as per the plan's initial phase.

They also raised proposals such as deploying international police officers and providing training for the security forces.

"We also said to the government that the government is constantly complaining that the media is biased; that the international community has bad information. The best way for the Burundian government to ensure that credible information is out there is to have independent observers in Burundi, observing the situation. The one commitment that we got was that the government would consider proposals that came to them, and so we need to sit down with the African Union tomorrow and think about other ways that we can successfully convince the Burundian government that it is in the interests of the Burundian people to embrace international support. Because that is what we are all here to do: to offer support. "

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, speaking to reporters in Bujumbura, Burundi.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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