The Burundi government has rejected the decision to send 5,000 peacekeepers, saying that this will obstruct foreign troops that will go into their border. The African Union (AU) initiated the decision to thwart the violence currently occurring in the country.
The deployment of 5,000 members of the African Prevention and Protection Mission (MAPROBU) was initiated by the AU's Peace and Security Council Friday night. For the first six months, their task is to protect the civilians in Burundi that are affected by the ongoing political violence that began after President Pierre Nkurunziza was seated back in office in July, according to the Associated Press.
Gervais Abayeho, the spokesman for Nkurunziza, said that Burundi does not need the assistance of a peacekeeping force.
"We will not allow foreign troops in Burundi. We don't need them," Abayeho said, according to Al Jazeera.
"We have a legal and democratically elected government that should be consulted before making such decisions. We are a troop-contributing country to several African Union peacekeeping missions in Africa and now they want to bring peacekeepers to our country? Why don't they just return our troops if they think we need help here?"
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) December 20, 2015
The AU, consisting of 54 nations, gave Burundi 96 hours to fully cooperate with the decision. It not, the union will send forces to intervene in the country without the government's permission.
"Africa will not allow another genocide to take place on its soil," the Peace and Security Council stated, according to Gulf News Africa.