Tag Archives: African Union

UN Presses African Union for Peacekeepers in Burundi

#UN Presses #AfricanUnion for Peacekeepers in #Burundi ,#VOA NewsMarthe van der Wolf  #ADDISABABA

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday that African leaders cannot wait any longer to address violence in Burundi, saying as time passes more people there will be killed.

Speaking to reporters at a summit of African Union leaders in Ethiopia, the U.N. chief called the situation a matter of human dignity and rights.

“That is why it’s a matter of urgency that I am urging African leaders to act in one voice, and also particularly urging President [Pierre] Nkurunziza and his government to listen very carefully and engage in inclusive dialogue,” Ban said.

On Saturday, Ban told the summit that peacekeepers are necessary in Burundi where the government has warned that any African Union forces would be considered an invasion force.

The AU is considering sending 5,000 peacekeepers to stem the political violence that erupted last year when President Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term.  Opponents say that is unconstitutional.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addresses a news conference during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Jan. 31, 2016.

Witness accounts of mass graves

Since then, international data show more than 400 people have been killed in Burundi, with new witness accounts of mass graves near the capital.  Those accounts were bolstered Friday when Amnesty International published satellite imagery showing five possible mass gravesites near a location where government security forces were accused of killing scores of people in December.

Saturday’s closed-door AU talks extended through the day, and it was not clear when a vote would be taken.

A two-thirds majority of the 54-member union is required to deploy a peacekeeping force.

“I applaud you for taking collective responsibility and acting decisively” to ease the crisis, Ban told summit attendees.

Nkurunziza is not attending the summit, but Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe said Saturday that Bujumbura had the backing of other African nations in opposing peacekeepers. When asked for details of that backing, Nyamitwe described it to the French news agency AFP as “very strong. You will see.”

Sexual abuse allegations

The AU meetings were also expected to address new reports of sexual abuse allegations leveled at U.N. peacekeepers and foreign troops deployed in the Central African Republic.

The U.N. human rights office said Friday that it had found six more cases of suspected sexual abuse against children in the CAR, including allegations from a 7-year-old girl who said she was forced to perform sexual acts on soldiers in exchange for food and water.

U.N. rights chief Anthony Banbury, speaking Friday, said there were likely to be 69 confirmed allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation against members of the U.N.’s 16 peacekeeping missions currently deployed around the world.

The United Nations can report abuse allegations, but countries where those personnel are deployed are responsible for prosecutions.

The AU summit will wrap up on Sunday evening.

Chad’s President Idriss Deby took over the post of African Union chairman

Chad's President Idriss Deby took over the post of African Union chairman

#ADDISABABA: #Chad’s President Idriss #Deby took over the post of #AfricanUnion chairman Saturday, replacing #Zimbabwean President Robert #Mugabe. “I accept this task with pleasure, but with a little agony as the responsiblity you entrust in me is heavy and fraught … read more

Somalia Bombing, gun attack at Mogadishu hotel kills at least 6

Security personnel stand guard at the scene of the car bomb attack.

Gunmen raided a hotel in Somalia’s capital after detonating a car bomb outside the building Friday, killing at least six people and sparking a gunbattle with security forces, a police officer at the scene said. Security forces and the assailants … read more

BREAKING: Michel Kafando of BurkinaFaso has been sworn in as the country’s interim president.

BREAKING: Michel Kafando, a former foreign minister of BurkinaFaso, has been sworn in as the country’s interim president.   United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of Burkina Faso on the signing of the Charter of the Transition … read more

Breaking News : Shots heard at Burkina Faso state TV HQ.

Witnesses told the BBC soldiers fired in the air to disperse protesters before forcing journalists to flee. Elsewhere in the capital, Ouagadougou, soldiers cleared thousands of demonstrators from a city square and barricaded the area. The army seized power on … read more

US seeks to thaw Egypt relations despite concerns

CAIRO (AP) — The United States, seizing on Egypt’s weak economy and shaky security, is seeking to convince its new president to embrace more moderate policies to achieve stability — and deliver more American aid In the few weeks since … read more

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt’s new president

Former army chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt’s new president   Egypt’s former army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was sworn in on Sunday as president for a four-year term, taking the reins of power in a nation roiled … read more

CAR : Ban Text to make security in the country

Central African Republic has been gripped by ethnic and religious violence since northern Seleka rebels seized power in the mainly Christian nation in 2013 Central African Republic authorities have told mobile phone operators to suspend text messages following calls on … read more

Letter from Africa: Focusing on conflict – BBC

In our series of letters from African journalists, filmmaker and columnist Farai Sevenzo considers the role of cameras in conflict. There was an interesting moment at the recent Cannes Film Festival when the Mauritania-born film director Abderrahmane Sissako was answering … read more