Put up or shut up: The UN's empty threats are putting Burundian lives at risk
Hot on the heels of the expiration of President Nkurunziza's "last chance" October 31st deadline for the FNL to negotiate, the UN has obligingly come up with another last chance for Agathon Rwasa.
It's the same message they've been giving since the beginning of 2004, and it lacks all credibility because these threatened sanctions never materialise.
By making weak, vague, empty threats and then not following through, the UN is actually encouraging the FNL to believe that they are completely immune from international sanction. It would be better to say nothing.
It would be better still to condemn (rather than deny, ignore, or "regret") the FNL's atrocities, apply the sanctions that we said we were going to impose in June 2004 and never did, and begin proceedings to prosecute Agathon Rwasa for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
By making threats back in 2004 and then not following through with those threats, the UN was inviting the FNL to carry out further atrocities. By encouraging the FNL to think that they were immune, and that they could extract further concessions by killing more people, the UN helped to cause the August 13th 2004 Gatumba massacre.
This is a matter of life or death. Unless the UN a) applies sanctions to the FNL or b) shuts up now, their empty threats will help to cause another massacre, possibly one even worse than Gatumba.
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Burundi, human rights, Current Affairs, Politics, Africa