The current leader of Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza was a guerilla leader in the civil wars of the 90s which witnessed the massacre of over 300,000 people.

President Nkurunziza is a transitional president who should have left a legacy by serving only one term to help build democratic instruments and institutions as well as National Unity.

His failure to display self abnegation led to struggle to prevent him from serving a third term. He resisted the pressure and in May 2015, the Constitutional court ruled in his favour. A failed coup was followed by the July polls. Hundreds of people have been killed and over 230,000 displaced.

The African Union was urged to send troops. It promised to send 5000 peacekeepers but the Government expressed its opposition.

The advisers made reference to the article in the Constitutive Act which authorises intervention in case of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity and called for intervention.

The heads of state prefer to send a delegation. President Nkurunziza could be seen exchanging pleasantries with other heads of state while his Nation is in a state of storm and stress. How could any head of state be comfortable in looking at the mass exodus of its citizenry and still oppose assistance to maintain peace and stability?

The onus is on the heads of state to prove that they could act to prevent death and displacement. If not, the UN will act and make them irrelevant. The choice is theirs to make.


Join The Conversation