French journalist for Le Monde newspaper Jean Philippe Remy (L) and British freelance photographer Phil Moore (R) speak with French Ambassador to Burundi Gerrit van Rossum (C) in Bujumbura on January 29, 2016. / AFP
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African Union efforts to approve a peacekeeping force for troubled Burundi faced tough challenges as leaders met ahead of an unprecedented vote on the potential deployment of 5,000 troops.Talks at the AU Peace and Security Council, attended by presidents and foreign ministers from across the 54-member bloc as well as U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, stretched late into Friday night in a bid to narrow positions before the opening of a summit meeting Saturday. With Nkurunziza unmoved by AU and U.N. appeals, there have already been moves to water down the proposed military force to that of an observer mission.A two-thirds majority will be required to send the force, the African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi, MAPROBU.
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