United Nations to send police force to Burundi

BUJUMBURA, Burundi, July 30 (UPI) — The U.N. Security Council authorized the deployment of an international police force to prevent violence and human-rights violations in Burundi.

According to the BBC, the council supported the resolution drafted by France to send a 228-member police force to the African country for a year.

“Given an increase in violence and tension the Security Council must have eyes and ears on the ground to predict and ensure that the worst does not occur in Burundi,” French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre said. “This is a strong act of preventative diplomacy.”

More than 450 people have been killed and and 270,000 have fled to neighboring countries since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term, according to Voice of America.

The vote to send the 228-member police team to Burundi passed by a vote of 11 to four with China, Angola, Egypt and Venezuel voting against, as Nkurunziza’s government told the United Nations they would only consent to a police force of 50 U.N. police officers.

“We should not harbor any illusions that this will fix Burundi’s problems. It will only, at best, observe those problems,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the council. “Police are not being deployed to protect civilians, even though civilians are in dire need of protection. That should embarrass us.’

Diplomats are negotiating how to implement the U.N. Security Council’s resolution to send the larger police force most effectively.

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