The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) leader Raila Odinga has accused the African Union of endorsing human rights abuse by failure to deploy troops to quell the conflict in Burundi, and instead concentrating on withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a press release sent to the Nation, Mr Odinga observed that the country is in the precipice of a genocide and all efforts should be directed at restoring peace, democracy and equity.
He said: “The decision not to deploy troops is a decision to stand with the incumbent and his murderous regime, against the helpless citizens of Burundi. The decision by the AU to make withdrawal from the Rome Statute the key issue at its meeting speaks volumes of the hypocrisy that has gotten over the Continent’s leadership.”
He further faulted the AU saying that withdrawal from the international court should be considered only after proper and effective legal infrastructures are put in place, to ensure people responsible for violence in Burundi, Ivory Coast and Darfur.
“For the African Union to leave the ICC before this infrastructure is put up is to expose the population of Africa to marauding tyrants who can now carry out their atrocities in the comfort of the knowledge that they shall never be brought to account for their crimes against humanity,” he said on Monday.
The 26th Ordinary Session for African Heads of State began on January 30 and ended on summit came to an end at AU’s Peace and Security Council in Addis Ababa
Burundi, which was undergoing a rebirth after a 1993-2006 civil war, plunged into anarchy in April 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to change the constitution and pursue a third term. So far more than 200,000 have fled.
Earlier, President Nkurunziza, through deputy presidential spokesperson Jean-Claude Karerwa, objected to the 54-member union’s move of sending in a 5,000 peacekeeping troop, threatening it will be considered an “invasion and occupation force.”