ZIMBABWE – Former President J.J Rawlings has requested for an urgent deployment of African Union troops to Burundi to prevent, contain and possibly arrest those who are committing extra-judicial killings in that country.
According to Mr Rawlings, the recent violent developments in Burundi require pragmatic action.
In a diplomatic letter to the current African Union Chairman and Zimbabwean President, Mr Robert Mugabe, Mr Rawlings stated: “If these killings are not contained and the government not checkmated, both militarily and politically, the government will attempt to consolidate itself at the high cost of human life, the exodus of vulnerable ethnic groups will continue and the rest will be terrorised into subjugation.”
In the view of Mr Rawlings, the Heads of State of the East African Community who intervened in the failed coup in Burundi last May could have anticipated the kind of vindictive reaction that would, no doubt, reignite and exacerbate the cold-blooded killings of Burundi’s past.”
“Your Excellency, the citizens of Burundi do not deserve this violence being visited on them as a result of a quest to perpetuate one’s rule,” Mr Rawlings stated, saying the urgent deployment of the African Union Standby Force was of utmost necessity.