Intervention Stop Burundi violence now - Rawlings charges AU

Ex-President Rawlings said the people of Burundi do not “deserve this violence being visited on them as a result of a quest to perpetuate one’s rule.”

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings play

Former President Jerry John Rawlings

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Ex-President John Rawlings has charged the Mugabe-led African Union (AU) to take drastic steps to curb the escalating violence in Burundi.

According to him, the people of Burundi do not “deserve this violence being visited on them as a result of a quest to perpetuate one’s rule.”

The former President made this known in a diplomatic letter to the AU chairman and President of Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe.

In the letter, Mr Rawlings warned that “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.”

He remarked that the East African Heads of State who intervened in the failed coup attempt in Burundi in May could have anticipated the “kind of vindictive reaction that would, no doubt, reignite and exacerbate the cold-blooded killings of Burundi’s past.”

He however, requested an urgent deployment of AU troops to Burundi to prevent, contain and possibly arrest those who are committing extra-judicial killings in that country.

The violence in the East African nation began in April 2015 after President Pierre Nkurunziza declared his intention to run for a third term.

Defending his decision to seek a third term, he argued that his first term as President did not count towards the constitutional two-term limit because he was chosen by Members of Parliament.

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