Burundi Police Unit back home from CAR

The Burundi police mission in Central African Republic terminates their peacekeeping mandate. They are all expected to arrive in Bujumbura this 1st August. Some organizations appreciate the decision taken by the UN.

Burundi Formed Police Unit from CAR Arrive at the Bujumbura International Airport

Burundi Formed Police Unit from CAR Arrive at the Bujumbura International Airport

About 280 Burundi police peacekeepers in Central African Republic are to be back to Burundi this Monday, 1st August. “Their mandate has ended”, said the police spokesperson, Pierre Nkurikiye.

According to him, they have gone to CAR to maintain peace and security since 15 September 2014 for a one year mandate but which was extended thanks to their great achievements. “They fulfilled their mission successfully and CAR citizens alongside the UN organizations appreciated the efforts they made in the consolidation of peace and security,” he has emphasized. About 126 formed police unit-FPU including a dozen of women has already arrived in Bujumbura the capital. “The second group is to arrive this evening and about ten others will stay there just to watch over their equipment”, he has explained.

Then, they are taken to the national training center for the consolidation of peace and security in Gatumba zone of Mutimbuzi Commune-Bujumbura Province. “They will be briefed upon the country’s current security situation and will receive a patriotic training,” has added the police spokesperson.

Concerning their replacement, Pierre Nkurikiye indicates that it depends on the UN Organization’s decision if need be.
“If the UN and AU organizations make a request to the Burundian Government, nothing will prevent the competent services from giving police force to contribute in the consolidation of peace and security in CAR”, he has said.

“Before securing others, our soldiers must first secure Burundi”

On 27 May 2016, the UN officials announced that Burundi’s police units deployed in CAR capital Bangui will not be replaced at the end of their mandate, around September. In February, Pacifique Nininahazwe, the chairman of FOCODE, a Burundian non-governmental organization requested that “the UN investigate allegations of human rights abuses by the police units serving in Bangui”.

FOCODE chairman supports the repatriation of all the police and all Burundian soldiers now in peace missions outside the country. His position is based upon three main reasons. Firstly, he says that Burundi itself is currently facing a major political and security crisis. “Before securing others, our soldiers must secure Burundi first”, he underlines.

Secondly, he goes on to say that the peacekeeping missions are very often given as a reward to soldiers and policemen who are extremely involved in the repression against opponents of President Nkurunziza’ s third term.

Thirdly, Pacifique Nininahazwe points out that the money from these peacekeeping missions allows the Burundian authorities to remain arrogant and prolong the suffering of Burundians. “This money is not used transparently; it is most often used to support the Imbonerakure militia. That is the reason why we launched the campaign #BringBackOurSoldiers. We welcome the UN’s decision not to replace the Burundian Police contingent in CAR and ask that the decision be extended to military peacekeepers”, he concludes.