The Chairperson of the African Union, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, assured Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza that AU peacekeepers would not carry “another agenda” should they be allowed to operate in the small central African country.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

Burundi has been wracked by political violence since President Nkurunziza decided to pursue a third presidential term in April. According to the United Nations the fighting has left more than 400 dead and thousands have fled the country.

According to Al Jazeera English, earlier this month the AU stated it could send 5,000 peacekeepers into Burundi in order to protect civilians from the mounting violence.

A spokesperson for President Nkurunziza officially rejected the offer of AU peacekeepers.

If the AU does send in troops it will be the first time the body has deployed troops against a country’s will.

Mrs. Dlamini-Zuma called upon both the opposition and President Nkurunziza to cooperate during peace talks, which will resume in Uganda on December 28th.

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