08:02 am
24 May 2017

China Calls for Respect for Burundi’s Sovereignty On Sending UN Police

United Nations — Burundi’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected, said a Chinese envoy here on Friday, regarding plans by the United Nations to send police to the African country.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the UN, made the appeal at a Security Council meeting, where a resolution was approved to send UN police to Burundi to monitor the country’s security situation.

Among the 15 council members, 11 voted in favor. China, Angola, Egypt and Venezuela abstained.

The resolution authorized the deployment of up to 228 police to Burundi for an initial period of a year.

However, the government of Burundi has said it would only accept no more than 50 UN police officers.

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza attends the opening of a coffee conference in the capital Bujumbura February 13, 2014. Burundi's junior coalition party has accused Nkurunziza of undermining a delicate power-sharing deal, a constitutional requirement that has kept ethnic tensions in check since a 12-year civil war in the east African nation ended in 2005. REUTERS/Jean Pierre Aime Harerimana (BURUNDI - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS PROFILE COMMODITIES)

Liu said the deployment of the UN peacekeeping operations and special political missions should be carried out on the basis of full consultation with the country concerned.

He said the resolution has no clear reference to UN principles, so China has to abstain.

“China urges the parties concerned to proceed with caution on the question of sending police to Burundi, consult fully with the Burundian government and reach an agreement beforehand,” he added.

Burundi plunged into bloody chaos from April 2015 when the country’s President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to vie for the presidency for a third five-year-term.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and over 500,000 people fled to neighboring countries, mostly Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), since the chaos started.