Burundi UN Security Council backs emerging peace process

Adopting a presidential statement, the Council also said it was concerned by the “dire humanitarian situation” in Burundi. Holding the parties responsible for allowing humanitarian organizations unrestricted access to civilians, the Council condemned acts of violence and violations of human rights.Reading the statement on behalf of the members, President Stefan Tafrov of Bulgaria said the Council welcomes recent steps towards peace, including last month’s signing of a comprehensive ceasefire between Burundi’s transitional government and its biggest rebel group, le Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie – Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD).It urged another armed rebel group, Parti pour la liberation du people Hutu – Forces nationals de liberation-Agathon Rwasa (PALIPEHUTU-FNL), to join the peace process immediately.Earlier this month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended that the mandate of the UN’s Office in Burundi (UNOB), due to expire on 31 December, be extended for another year. By today’s action, the Council approved the renewal as well as a small increase in staff to respond to increasing needs in the areas of peacekeeping and security.The statement also called for the international community to provide greater financial support to Burundi, including by backing the African Union’s mission in the country, which is emerging from a decade of civil strife that left between 250,000 and 300,000 people dead.

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