In what appears to be a strong worded statement that throws caution and protocol to the wind, Burundi’s ambassador to the United Nations, Albert Shingiro, has accused the African Union Commission (AUC) of interfering in the country’s personal political affairs, saying no one should 'infantile' the country, especially when uninvited.
The government of Burundi under President Pierre Nkurunziza had issued an international arrest warrant against the former president of the country, Pierre Buyoya, 11 senior members of the security forces (army and gendarmerie), and 5 of his close close civilian allies for what it claims to be their involvement in the assassination of the country's first ever democratically elected Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye in 1993.
The AUC seemed unsatisfied with the arrests warrants and released a statement on Saturday calling on the Burundian government to avoid any form of judicial measures that could threaten the peaceful development and consensus currently going on in the country.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the AUC said:
“It is crucial that all relevant actors refrain from any measures, including political and/or judicial, that could complicate the search for a consensual solution in Burundi."
The statement undoubtedly angered the Burundian authorities and this was expressed in a tweet by Albert Shingiro to AUC’s head Moussa Faki Mahamat saying:
The Burundian authorities believe the AUC is taking the steps to protect the former president, Pierre Buyoya, who ruled the country between 1987 - 1993 and 1996 - 2003, and is currently a representative of the African Union (AU) in Mali.
The murder of Melchior Ndadaye in 1993 caused a civil war between 1993-2006 that recorded causalities of more than 300,000 people.
The issue appears to be as a result of the age-long rivalry between the Tutsi minority and the Hutu.
In January 2017, African leaders adopted a resolution to collectively withdraw from the ICC.
Header Image: Al Jazeera