Sudan Backs Burundi in Dispute Against African Union Peacekeeper Plans
Sudan appears to have backed Burundi in its dispute against African Union (AU) plans to send peacekeeper troops into the troubled nation.
According to Burundi media sources, a Sudanese government official promised his country would support its neighbour in any attempt to fight against AU action that could “disrupt peace and security” in Burundi.
Burundi: Troop deployment an invasion
Following the AU’s offer to send peacekeeper troops into Burundi the government responded by saying any such action would be seen as an invasion. The country also insisted it would act accordingly to what it would see as an act of war on behalf of the African Union.
Sudan took a similar stance against AU intervention before peacekeeper troops were sent in to calm violence in the Darfur region. The Sudanese government eventually backed down and agreed that peacekeepers could enter the region under certain conditions.
The African Union is still awaiting an official response from Burundi before it decides what action to take.
The AU isn’t normally permitted to send peacekeeper troops into a nation without the approval of its government. Burundi has already highlighted this point and suggested the bloc needs approval from the UN before it can take any action at all.
However, the AU says it’s within its rights to send in troops without permission from Burundi under Article 4 of the AU charter. The article states the African Union can intervened in member states under “grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity”.
International fear that an ethnic genocide is fast approaching in Burundi has been growing in recent months, while evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity could justify the AU’s intervention.
Meanwhile, in related news, Rwanda President Paul Kagame has said his country’s troops will not join any African Union forces deployed in Burundi.