The escalating situation in Burundi has forced UK’s Minister for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to consult on the best approach that can help fix the political crisis.
Hon. James Duddridge has been sent to Kigali to meet with Rwandan authorities to discuss various bilateral and multilateral issues, a statement from the UK High Commission.
In the past weeks, scores of bodies were found on the streets in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura following attacks on three military sites. More bodies continue to be found dumped in city suburbs.
Pro-opposition districts of Bujumbura accuse the security forces of dragging young men from their homes and killing them.
The UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday warned that Burundi could be sliding back towards civil war.
UN figures released before Friday’s violence showed at least 240 people had been killed and more than 200,000 had fled the country of around 11 million since a failed coup in May.
The Security Council said last week that sending in UN peacekeepers remained an option.
The Western fears Burundi crisis could force the country back into ethnic conflict and this could spill-over into neighbouring countries in the region.
Burundi is still recovering from a 1993-2006 civil war in which 300,000 people were killed.
The current state of affairs in Burundi is similar to events prior to a full scale genocide in Rwanda.
The International community acknowledges that Rwanda understands much better the situation in Burundi than any other country. This is mostly due to deep cultural ties between the two countries.
Several Burundians have directly asked President Paul Kagame to intervene.
Rwanda could offer the best advice and practices that could potentially prevent Burundi from descending into a genocide.
After meeting Rwandan authorities, Hon. Duddridge will travel to Burundi on December 24.