AU urges international police force for Burundi

An African Union human rights report called on Friday for an international police force and more military and rights observers to be sent to troubled Burundi.
The AU rights investigators said it was “necessary that, apart from strengthening AU human rights monitors and military observers, an international police mission is deployed”.
Last year the AU proposed a 5 000-strong peacekeeping force, but the pan-African bloc buckled in the face of opposition from Bujumbura.
Hundreds have been killed and a quarter of a million people have left Burundi since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial decision in April 2015 to run for a third term, a vote he won in July.
Anti-government protests were brutally quashed and killings and attacks have become a regular feature in the troubled country as the political crisis grinds on.
The AU said the police would help boost security and ensure “protection of people in those areas most affected by violence and which continue to witness it”.
The report, from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, was presented to the AU earlier this month, but only released publicly on Friday.
The AU investigators also called for the “reopening of the various independent radio stations that were arbitrarily closed down” and to “reverse the collective closure of the 10 civil society organisations that play a key role in the promotion and protection of human rights”.

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