Burundi: UN begins preparations for peacekeeping mission
"It is my intention to immediately begin planning and preparations for a United Nations peacekeeping mission," Annan was quoted as saying in a letter to the president of the UN Security Council released on Monday.
Annan said much needed to be done to establish a UN peacekeeping mission to support the transitional government of Burundi, ahead of general elections scheduled for later this year, UN News reported.
UN News reported that in March, Annan recommended in a report that the council should expand the UN's role in Burundi in order to provide the support necessary for consolidating the peace process, which began with the signing in 2000 of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accord.
In response to Annan's letter, Council President Gunter Pleuger of Germany approved the proposal, noting that it will be carried out without prejudice to a future decision on establishing a UN force in Burundi, UN News reported.
AMIB has 2,523 troops in Burundi drawn from Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa. They were deployed to monitor the country's peace process following a decade of civil strife, which has claimed the lives of at least 250,000 people.
On 25 March, the African Union (AU) announced it had renewed for another month AMIB's mandate, and appealed to the UN Security Council to authorise the early deployment of UN troops as proposed by Annan.
The AU said it had renewed AMIB's mandate from 2 April to 2 May on the understanding that the UN Security Council would deploy peacekeepers before the end of this period.
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