Burundi: the EU calls on its citizens to leave the country

Bujumbura, le 26 mai 2015.

Bujumbura, May 26, 2015. Photo credits: GORAN Tomasevic / Reuters

The country is prey for six months to a crisis policy that threatens to degenerate into ethnic conflict, violence are almost daily. Belgium, the former colonial power, has also advised its citizens to leave.

face of “growing risk” of violence in Burundi, the European Union decided to “evacuate” families and “nonessential personal” of his delegation present in this small African country located in the Great Lakes region plagued for six months to a political crisis that threatens to degenerate into ethnic clashes. “It is clear that the situation is dangerous in Bujumbura,” the capital. “We’re taking measures for our staff and families” who should leave the country “in the coming days,” said a European official.

For its part, Belgium, the former colonial power, has also advised its citizens on Friday to leave the country, mainly because of “hostile remarks to Belgium and threats against Belgian nationals have (…) been released. ” According to the Belgian Foreign Ministry, about 500 Belgians are currently present in Burundi. In France, the French Foreign Ministry said it had for the time being “recommended” to its approximately 500 nationals of “caution”.

A UN resolution adopted

Since late April, the country is on the brink of civil war. The candidature of President Pierre Nkurunziza to a third term, according to its opponents contrary to the Constitution, plunged Burundi into a serious crisis that left at least 240 dead and 200,000 refugees. The repression of demonstrations and re-election of Pierre Nkurunziza in July did not prevent the intensification of violence, armed now. The violence, almost daily between armed groups, now let fear a return of large-scale violence in the country in the post-colonial history marked by massacres between Hutu and Tutsi. Burundi is released there is less than 10 years of a long civil war that claimed some 300,000 lives between 1993 and 2006.

In order to prevent the country from slipping back into a conflict, the 15 members of the UN Security Council adopted unanimously Thursday a resolution submitted by France. This plan, in vague terms, asked the UN to strengthen its “presence” in Burundi by sending a team of experts and preparing it within two weeks “options”, which could include the deployment of peacekeepers without the term is used. She also referred to possible “further measures” against those who incite violence and hamper peace without expressly using the term sanctions. The presidential camp and the anti-third term have both “satisfied” of the resolution, in each giving a different reading.

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