UN seeks "consensus" on UN police deployment to Burundi

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Jamal Benomar. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The UN special envoy to Burundi has been tasked by the Security Council to travel to the country and work on a "consensus" regarding the possible deployment of a UN police component.

Jamal Benomar presented a report to Council members on Thursday regarding the status of the implementation of the French-led resolution that authorized the force.

More than 400 people have been killed and 240,000 citizens have fled to neighbouring countries since a crisis broke out in April 2015, following a controversial electoral process.

Jocelyne Sambira has the story.

Concern over rising violence and a persisting political impasse in Burundi prompted members of the Security Council to adopt a resolution in July. 

A key provision called for the deployment of 228 UN police officers for an initial period of one year to monitor the security situation and to support the UN human rights office in the country. 

Mr Benomar had this to say. 

"As you are aware, the Government of Burundi rejected key provisions of the resolution shortly after it was adopted. Council members have requested that I travel to Burundi in order to consult with the Government to hear their positions, their concerns, to share the views of the Council and to clarify our objectives, our endeavour to consult constructively with the Government in order to work towards a consensual way forward." 

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Burundi's government suspended "all cooperation and collaboration" with the local UN human rights office, which has been there for more than two decades. 

Media reports also say that three human rights investigators mandated by the UN human rights council, have been barred from entering the country and that lawmakers have voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). 

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations. 

Duration: 1’19″

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