The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Saturday, in which it explained the reasons why Egypt refrained from voting on the United Nations Security Council’s (UNSC) decision to intervene in Burundi.
During a UNSC session, the council permitted intervention of about 228 United Nations (UN) policemen to observe the security situation in Burundi. Egypt, among four other countries, refrained from voting on the decision.
Citing Ambassador Amr Abul Atta, the statement said that Egypt is concerned about the ongoing situation in Burundi. During the session, Egypt stressed that the Burundian stance towards such an intervention should definitely be considered in order to ensure its cooperation.
Abul Atta added that Egypt filed several motions for amendments during the debate to ensure the Burundian government’s cooperation. However, several members rejected Egypt’s suggestions and insisted on releasing the decision without any modifications. Abul Atta said that this might lead to a confrontation with Burundi instead of cooperation.
The statement concluded by saying that the members in the council rejected the amendments filed by African delegations that called for coordination with the Burundian government.
Burundi has witnessed severe unrest, with a number of clashes leaving about 450 dead, after its president Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he would run for a third presidential term last year, which is deemed unconstitutional. Nkurunziza won the elections, which sparked anger among his opponents and terminated the peace agreement that ended a civil war in 2005.
Egypt won a non-permanent seat in the UNSC in October 2015 after winning 179 votes out of 193. Currently, it is the only Arab country that holds a seat in the international institution.