The Security Council this afternoon urged all parties in Burundi to continue pursuing a negotiated settlement of their conflict and refrain from actions that might harm such dialogue.
In a statement read out by its President, Park Soo Gil (Republic of Korea), the Council welcomed both the talks being held in Rome to complement the Arusha peace process on Burundi and the Burundi Government's commitment to a comprehensive dialogue among all the parties within the framework of that process.
Reiterating its support for the peace efforts of leaders of the region, the Council welcomed their decision to ease sanctions against Burundi to alleviate the suffering of its people. That decision was relayed to the Council in the Joint Communique of 16 April issued following the Fourth Arusha Regional Summit on the Burundi Conflict held in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Stating its concern that instability continued in Burundi despite recent positive developments, the Council recalled its resolution 1072 (1996) of 30 August 1996, which demanded that all sides in Burundi declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities and initiate unconditional negotiations towards a comprehensive political settlement.
Expressing deep concern at the involuntary resettlement of rural populations, the Council called upon Burundi's Government to allow the people to return to their homes without hindrance.
The meeting began at 12:07 p.m. and adjourned at 12:12 p.m.
The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1997/32, reads as follows:
"The Security Council is concerned that, despite recent positive developments, there is continuing instability in Burundi. It recalls its
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6379 3785th Meeting (PM) 30 May 1997
resolution 1072 (1996) of 30 August 1996, in which, inter alia, it demanded that all sides in Burundi declare a unilateral cessation of hostilities and initiate unconditional negotiations with a view to reaching a comprehensive political settlement.
"The Security Council reiterates its support for the efforts of the regional leaders and takes note of the Joint Communique (S/1997/319) of 16 April 1997 issued following the Fourth Arusha Regional Summit on the Burundi Conflict held in Arusha, Tanzania. In particular, the Council welcomes the decision of the regional leaders to ease sanctions in order to alleviate the suffering of the people of Burundi.
"The Security Council welcomes the fact that talks are being held in Rome which are complementary to the Arusha process. It also welcomes the commitment of the Government of Burundi to the comprehensive political dialogue among all the parties within the framework of the Arusha process. It urges all the parties in Burundi to continue to pursue a negotiated settlement and to refrain from actions which are detrimental to such dialogue.
"The Security Council expresses its deep concern at the involuntary resettlement of rural populations and calls upon the Government of Burundi to allow the people to return to their homes without any hindrance.
"The Security Council expresses its support and appreciation to former President Nyerere as well as to the Special Representative of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity in their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Burundi.
"The Security Council requests the Secretary-General to continue to keep the Council informed on the situation in Burundi, especially with regard to the progress of a negotiated and peaceful settlement in the country.
"The Security Council will remain seized of the matter."
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