UN envoy urges new way to help Burundi exit political crisis

2018-11-22 14:15
iStock

iStock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The UN special envoy for Burundi called for a re-evaluation of the ways to help the African nation emerge from its current political crisis on Wednesday, with a view to elections in 2020.

Michel Kafando told the Security Council that tensions remain high between the government and opposition, there is a "deficit of trust" between the political opponents, and "hate speech" continues against opposition figures.

Burundi was plagued by political violence following President Pierre Nkurunziza's announcement in April 2015 that he would seek a disputed third term. Nkurunziza won re-election despite widespread protests.

A referendum earlier this year approved changes to the constitution that would allow Nkurunziza, who has been in power since 2005, another 14 years after his current term expires in 2020. But in June he announced that he would not run for another term and will support the winner of the 2020 election.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a new report to the council that since August "the overall security situation remained generally calm, amid the discovery by police of weapons and ammunition, as well as reported cases of murder, arbitrary arrests and disappearances." He also cited reports of attacks on villages and military positions by unidentified armed men.

The UN chief said the government's decision not to attend the fifth session of the inter-Burundian dialogue on October 25 and the dialogue's "lack of significant progress ... towards a lasting resolution of the 2015 crisis remains a matter of serious concern."

"Furthermore, grave concerns continue to be expressed with regard to violations and abuses of human rights across the country," Guterres said.

He stressed that while the political dialogue is now shifting toward preparations for the 2020 elections, "all parties should be aware that lasting peace can only be achieved and sustained if a spirit of compromise and the principles of the rule of law are applied in the overall governance of the state."

Kafando said that apart from some parties allied to the government, "the democratic space remains restricted" in Burundi.

He told the council that "the secretary-general deplores the unacceptable statements by representatives of Burundi's government" against a report by the UN Human Rights Council's Commission of Inquiry that indicated serious rights violations, including crimes against humanity, "had persisted in Burundi in 2017 and 2018."

Kafando said "the situation remains fragile" not only due to the lack of an inclusive political dialogue but due to humanitarian, economic and financial difficulties, as well as security threats.

After three years of efforts to promote an inter-Burundian dialogue, he said, Burundians themselves need to re-evaluate ways to end the political crisis. Subsequently, he said, the regional East African Community group should also do a re-evaluation at its upcoming summit.

"Based on the outcome, the United Nations, African Union, and East African Community should proceed to re-evaluate their commitments to help Burundi emerge from the crisis once and for all, above all with a view to the 2020 elections," Kafando said.

Burundi's UN Ambassador Albert Shingiro called the situation in Burundi "calm, stable, entirely under our control," saying "the 2015 crisis is over and behind us."

He stressed Burundi's "promotion and protection of human rights."

"Promotion is a long, arduous process with many obstacles on the way," he said. "For Burundi, the path is still a long one and the willingness is there."

Shingiro told the council the elections will be funded by Burundians and will be democratic and inclusive, saying preparations "are taking place in a calm and serene climate."

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook

Read more on:    un  |  burundi  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

IT Manager (contract)

Cape Town CBD
Communicate Cape Town IT
R330 000.00 - R458 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.