30 August 1996


Press Release
SC/6263



SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON BURUNDI REGIME TO RESTORE CONSTITUTIONAL ORDER, DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL NEGOTIATIONS TOWARDS POLITICAL SETTLEMENT

19960830
With Unanimous Adoption of Resolution 1072 (1996), Council May Consider Chapter VII Action of Arms Embargo, Other Measures Should Demands Go Unmet

Condemning the overthrow of the legitimate government and constitutional order in Burundi and calling on the regime to return to that order, restore the National Assembly and lift the ban on all political parties, the Security Council this afternoon demanded that all sides cease hostilities, call for an immediate halt in the violence and initiate unconditional negotiations towards a comprehensive political settlement.

Unanimously adopting resolution 1072 (1996), the Council decided that, should its demands on negotiations not be met, it might consider acting under Chapter VII of the Charter to impose an arms embargo on all sides and other measures targeted against leaders who continued to encourage violence and obstruct a peaceful resolution of the crisis. Such a decision could come when the Council re-examines the matter on 31 October on the basis of a report it requested the Secretary-General to submit before then.

Declaring its readiness to help the people of Burundi with international cooperation to support a political settlement resulting from those negotiations, the Council requested the Secretary-General to undertake preparations when appropriate for a pledging conference to help rebuild and develop Burundi following a settlement.

The Council also demanded that the leaders of all parties ensure basic conditions of security for all by a commitment to abstain from attacking civilians, to ensure the security of humanitarian personnel operating in territory they control and to guarantee the protection within Burundi and safe passage out of the country for the members of President Silvestre Ntibantunganya's government and the members of parliament.

The Council expressed strong support for the regional leaders, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere in their efforts to help Burundi peacefully overcome its grave crisis and encouraged them to continue facilitating the search for a political solution.


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The Secretary-General was encouraged by the Council to consult with the neighbouring States, other Member States, the OAU and international humanitarian organizations to establish mechanisms to ensure safe and timely supply of humanitarian relief throughout Burundi.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council acknowledged the implications of the Burundi situation for the region and underlined the importance of the convening, at an appropriate time, of a regional conference of the Great Lakes region, under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU.

The Council reiterated the importance it attached to the contingency planning called for in resolution 1049 (1996) of 5 March and encouraged the Secretary-General and Member States to continue to facilitate the planning for an international presence and rapid humanitarian response should there be widespread violence or a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Burundi.

Statements were made by the representatives of Chile, France and Italy. The representative of Burundi also addressed the Council.

The meeting, called to order at 3:10 p.m., was adjourned at 3:30 p.m. p.m.



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Report of Secretary-General

The Secretary-General states, in his report on the situation in Burundi (document S/1996/660), that the international community must brace itself for the possibility of an attempt at genocide in that country. He appeals to States with the necessary military and logistic means to undertake contingency planning for an intervention force to save lives.

Member States' response to the Secretariat's efforts to seek support for intervention in Burundi has not matched the urgency and seriousness of the situation, according to the Secretary-General. Some States have suggested that, with the unwillingness of any of them to lead in deploying a multinational humanitarian intervention force under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Secretariat should examine whether such a force could be deployed by the United Nations itself and financed through assessed contributions. With signs that 50,000 troops would be needed for such a force, the Secretary-General expresses doubts that Member States will provide the troops for and fund such a large operation and whether the Secretariat could manage it. However, the Secretariat has written to about 30 potential troop contributors to assess their reactions and has received five replies, all but one of which are negative.

On the coup d'état of 25 July, the Secretary-General states that it has not made the peace process easier. It will reinforce one side's fears, strengthen extremists on both sides and increase violence. The coup returned Major Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, to power, replacing President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. Major Buyoya has declared that he intends to establish a transitional government and to consider setting up a parliament of transition to allow Burundians to take part in forming new institutions. He urged the international community not to intervene militarily in Burundi. Having announced his search for a Hutu with whom to implement his plans, he named Pascal Firmin Ndimira prime minister on 31 July.

On that day, the second Arusha Summit of regional leaders condemned the coup and imposed economic sanctions on Burundi. In a joint communique contained in an appendix to a 2 August letter from the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania addressed to the Secretary-General (document S/1996/620), the leaders asked the new regime to start immediate talks with all parties, return to constitutional order, restore the National Assembly and legalize all political parties. The Secretary-General comments that the leaders' forceful reaction shows their concern at the coup's implications for peace and security in the region. He appeals for the sanctions not to be used as an instrument of punishment of opening negotiations on a political settlement. Attending the Regional Summit were the Presidents of the United Republic of


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Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda; the Prime Ministers of Ethiopia and Zaire; as well as Minister of External Relations of Cameroon, the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Facilitator of the Burundi peace talks, former President Julius K. Nyerere of Tanzania.

Text of Draft Resolution

The Council also has before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/708) sponsored by Botswana, Chile, Egypt, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, United States and Russian Federation:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming all its previous resolutions and statements by its President on the situation in Burundi,

"Recalling the statement by its President of 24 July 1996 (S/PRST/1996/31) in which the Council strongly condemned any attempt to overthrow the legitimate government of Burundi by force or coup d'état; and recalling also the statement by its President of 29 July 1996 (S/PRST/1996/32) in which the Council condemned the actions that led to the overthrow of constitutional order in Burundi,

"Deeply concerned at the continued deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in Burundi that has been characterized in the last years by killings, massacres, torture and arbitrary detention, and at the threat that this poses to the peace and security of the Great Lakes Region as a whole,

"Reiterating its appeal to all parties in Burundi to defuse the present crisis and to demonstrate the necessary cohesion, unity and political will to restore constitutional order and processes without delay,

"Reiterating the urgent need for all parties in Burundi to commit themselves to a dialogue aimed at establishing a comprehensive political settlement and the creation of conditions conducive to national reconciliation,

"Recalling that all persons who commit or authorize the commission of serious violations of international humanitarian law are individually responsible for such violations and should be held accountable, and reaffirming the need to put an end to impunity for such acts and the climate that fosters them,

"Strongly condemning those responsible for the attacks on personnel of international humanitarian organizations, and underlining that all parties in Burundi are responsible for the security of such personnel,


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"Emphasizing the urgent need to establish humanitarian corridors to ensure the unimpeded flow of humanitarian goods to all people in Burundi,

"Taking note of the letter from the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania of 2 August 1996 (S/1996/620, Annex and Appendix),

"Taking note also of the note from the Secretary-General transmitting a letter from the Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity of 5 August 1996 (S/1996/628, Annex),

"Reiterating its support for the immediate resumption of dialogue and negotiations under the auspices of the Mwanza Peace Process facilitated by former President Nyerere and the Joint Communiqué of the Second Arusha Regional Summit on Burundi of 31 July 1996 which seeks to guarantee democracy and security for all people in Burundi,

"Determined to support the efforts and initiatives of the countries in the region, which were also supported by the Central Organ of the Organization of African Unity Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution aimed at returning Burundi to a democratic path and contributing to stability in the region,

"Underlining the importance it attaches to the continuation of the efforts of the OAU and its Observer Mission (MIOB),

"Welcoming the efforts made by interested Member States and by the European Union to contribute to a peaceful solution of the political crisis in Burundi,

"Underlining that only a comprehensive political settlement can open the way for international cooperation for the reconstruction, development and stability of Burundi, and expressing its readiness to support the convening, when appropriate, of an international conference involving the United Nations system, regional organizations, international financial institutions, donor countries and non-governmental organizations aimed at mobilizing international support for the implementation of a comprehensive political settlement,

"Recalling its resolution 1040 (1996) of 29 January 1996, in particular paragraph 8, in which the Council declared its readiness to consider the imposition of measures under the Charter of the United Nations,

"Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General of 15 August 1996 (S/1996/660),


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A

"1. Condemns the overthrow of the legitimate government and constitutional order in Burundi and condemns also all those parties and factions which resort to force and violence to advance their political objectives;

"2. Expresses its strong support for the efforts of regional leaders, including at their meeting in Arusha on 31 July 1996, of the Organization of African Unity and of former President Nyerere, to assist Burundi to overcome peacefully the grave crisis which it is undergoing, and encourages them to continue to facilitate the search for a political solution;

"3. Calls upon the regime to ensure a return to constitutional order and legality, to restore the National Assembly and to lift the ban on all political parties;

"4. Demands that all sides in Burundi declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities, call an immediate halt to violence and assume their individual and collective responsibilities to bring peace, security and tranquillity to the people of Burundi;

"5. Demands also that the leaders of all parties in Burundi ensure basic conditions of security for all in Burundi by a commitment to abstain from attacking civilians; to ensure the security of humanitarian personnel operating in the territory they control, and to guarantee the protection within Burundi and safe passage out of the country for the members of President Ntibantunganya's government and the members of parliament;

"6. Demands also that all of Burundi's political parties and factions without exception, whether inside or outside the country and including representatives of civil society, initiate unconditional negotiations immediately, with a view to reaching a comprehensive political settlement;

"7. Declares its readiness to assist the people of Burundi with appropriate international cooperation to support a comprehensive political settlement resulting from these negotiations and in this context, requests the Secretary-General in consultation with the international community to undertake preparations when appropriate for the convening of a pledging conference to assist in the reconstruction and development of Burundi following the achievement of a comprehensive political settlement;

"8. Encourages the Secretary-General in consultation with all those concerned, including the neighbouring States, other Member States, the Organization of African Unity and international humanitarian organizations, to establish mechanisms to ensure the safe and timely delivery of humanitarian relief throughout Burundi;


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"9. Acknowledges the implication of the situation in Burundi for the region and underlines the importance of convening at an appropriate time a Regional Conference of the Great Lakes Region, under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity;

B

"10. Decides to re-examine the matter on 31 October 1996 and requests that the Secretary-General report to the Council by that time on the situation in Burundi, including on the status of the negotiations referred to in paragraph 6 above;

"11. Decides, in the event that the Secretary-General reports that the negotiations referred to in paragraph 6 above have not been initiated, to consider the imposition of measures under the Charter of the United Nations to further compliance with the demand of paragraph 6 above. These may include, among others, a ban on the sale or supply of arms and related matériel of all types to the regime in Burundi and to all factions inside or outside Burundi, and measures targeted against the leaders of the regime and all factions who continue to encourage violence and obstruct a peaceful resolution of the political crisis in Burundi;

"12. Reiterates the importance it attaches to the contingency planning called for in paragraph 13 of resolution 1049 (1996) of 5 March 1996 and encourages the Secretary-General and Member States to continue to facilitate contingency planning for an international presence and other initiatives to support and help consolidate a cessation of hostilities, as well as to make a rapid humanitarian response in the event of widespread violence or a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Burundi;

"13. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Statements

JUAN LARRAIN (Chile) said that the draft resolution would show the support of the Council for regional efforts to search for peace in Burundi and encourage the work of the OAU and former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere. The Council would lend further support to Burundi if its leaders sought peaceful ways to solve their differences. It would also consider measures to ensure that the leaders of the country started peaceful negotiations and that they did not obstruct the efforts being made to find a peaceful, comprehensive political settlement. He reviewed other provisions of the resolution, which condemned the use of violence, the removal of the legitimate government in Burundi and called on all sides to stop the use of force.


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The representative said that it should be clear that, when it met again on the issue at the end of October, the Council would consider taking strong measures if the negotiations which it had demanded in the resolution had not begun.

The resolution was adopted unanimously as resolution 1072 (1996).

HERVE LADSOUS (France), speaking after the vote, said he had voted in favour of the draft. France welcomed its provisions. Dialogue should be quickly organized. A political vote of confidence should be given to all parties and dialogue should be opened to all groups.

He said guarantees must be given to all the former leaders and deputies. He urged the covening of a conference of the Great Lakes region under United Nations and OAU auspices to deal with the problems of the region in a lasting manner. Concrete measures such as those set forth in the draft, particularly negotiations, should be implemented. Measures would have to be taken if negotiations were not initiated within 60 days. The measures should, however, be such that innocent civilians would not get hurt.

FRENCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy) said it was essential that the Council showed unanimity. He called attention to a letter from the European Union which expressed support for the efforts of regional leaders, the OAU and those of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere and encouraged them to continue.

He noted that it was the second time in a month that the Council had expressed itself on the military coup. It was now time for a dialogue among all the parties. The parties should show restraint and a constructive attitude to put the country back on its feet.

NSANZE TERENCE (Burundi) said the new regime was receptive to the Council's appeals, and had introduced measures that would help implement some of the provisions of the resolution which were compatible with the interests of Burundi. Efforts should be aimed not at saving only one ethnic group but the entire Burundian nation. Some politicians were trying to divide the people of Burundi in order to pursue their interests. His Government would continue to fight against all bands and militias in its efforts to end the violence and the scorched earth policies they were pursuing. His Government's efforts would require the patience of the Security Council and the international community. The sanctions imposed by Burundi's neighbours were obstacles to its efforts to quickly and fully meet the conditions of the resolution.

The representative said that resolution was weakened by the absence of a condemnation of the blockade that had been imposed against Burundi. Also it did not call for the establishment of an ad hoc commission that would gather facts on all the problems of the region. The sword of Damocles hanging over Burundi in the shape of the threats of an arms embargo were not appropriate as it might punish the people of Burundi for acts perpetrated by some bands. The cooperation of the members of the Council was required to remove some of the pitfalls contained in the present resolution.

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