(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Four African nations to send troops

Four African nations have agreed to send peacekeeping troops to Burundi, President Pierre Buyoya announced on Wednesday. According to Reuters news agency, he told a press conference in Lusaka, Zambia, that the defence ministers of South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Burundi met in Pretoria last week to prepare for the deployment of troops once a ceasefire was agreed. The mediator, Nelson Mandela, has acknowledged that implementation of the transition period will not coincide with a ceasefire agreement, but he said negotiations were continuing with the FNL and FDD rebel groups.

Buyoya also told the news conference he was aware a “big challenge” lay ahead. A regional summit, due to be held in Arusha, Tanzania on 23 July, will decide on the timeframe for the transition. Buyoya assured reporters he would step down after his 18-month tenure. “It is contained in the document,” he said. “I gave my word of honour and commitment, and I will abide by that.”

Share this article
Join the discussion

Support our work

Donate now