12 November 1999


Press Release
SC/6754



SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON PARTIES TO END VIOLENCE IN BURUNDI, PURSUE NEGOTIATIONS; MURDER OF UNITED NATIONS PERSONNEL IS CONDEMNED

19991112

Presidential Statement Seeks Government Cooperation in Inquiry, Assurances of Security and Free Movement for UN and Aid Workers

The Security Council, noting the recent outbreaks of violence in Burundi and the delays in the peace process, this afternoon called on the parties to end the violence and to pursue negotiations towards the peaceful resolution of the ongoing crisis.

In a statement read out by its President, Danilo Türk (Slovenia), the Council affirmed that the Arusha peace process, chaired by the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, offered the best hope for peace in Burundi and should be the foundation for all-party talks leading to the conclusion of a peace agreement. The States of the region must act quickly to appoint a new mediation team that was acceptable to the Burundi parties to the negotiations.

The Council condemned the murder of United Nations personnel in Burundi in October and called on the Government to undertake and cooperate with investigations, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. In that context, the Council urged all parties to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need, and to guarantee the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and humanitarian personnel. The Council recognized the important role of the States of the region, in particular the United Republic of Tanzania, which was host to thousands of Burundi refugees and home to the Julius Nyerere Foundation.

The Council called on States of the region to ensure the neutrality and civilian character of refugee camps and to prevent the use of their territory by armed insurgents. It also called on the Government of Burundi to halt the policy of forced “regroupment” and to allow the affected people to return to their homes. The Council condemned attacks by armed groups against civilians and called for an end to those unacceptable incidents.

Recognizing Burundi's dire economic and social conditions, the Council affirmed the need for the donor community to expand its assistance to that country.

The Council noted with great sadness the death of President Nyerere, while at the same time rededicating its efforts to the cause of peace which he served.

The meeting, which began at 4:18 p.m., was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.


Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6754 4068th Meeting (PM) 12 November 1999

Presidential Statement

The text of the presidential statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1999/32, reads as follows:

“The Security Council notes with concern the recent outbreaks of violence in Burundi and the delays in the peace process. It calls on all the parties to put an end to this violence and pursue negotiations towards the peaceful resolution of Burundi's ongoing crisis.

“The Security Council reiterates its support for the Arusha Peace Process and for the efforts to build an internal political partnership in Burundi. It notes with great sadness the death of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, while at the same time rededicating its efforts to the cause of peace he served. The Council firmly believes that the process chaired by the late Mwalimu Nyerere offers the best hope for peace in Burundi and should be the foundation for all-party talks leading to the restoration of constitutional rule. The States of the region, in close consultation with the United Nations, need to act quickly to appoint a new mediation team that is acceptable to the Burundian parties to the negotiations.

“The Security Council commends those Burundian parties, including the Government, that demonstrated their commitment to continue negotiations, and calls on those parties that remain outside the process to cease hostilities and join in Burundi's inclusive peace process.

“The Security Council condemns the murder of United Nations personnel in Burundi in October. It calls on the Government to undertake and cooperate with investigations, and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. The Council urges all parties to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian assistance to those in need in Burundi and to fully guarantee the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and humanitarian personnel. The Council recognizes the important role of the States of the region, in particular Tanzania, which is host to hundreds of thousands of Burundian refugees and home to the Julius Nyerere Foundation, which has provided outstanding support to the talks.

“The Security Council calls on States of the region to ensure the neutrality and civilian character of refugee camps and to prevent the use of their territory by armed insurgents. It also calls on the Government of Burundi to halt the policy of forced regroupment and to allow the affected people to return to their homes, with full and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the process. It condemns the attacks by armed groups against civilians and calls for an end to these unacceptable incidents.

“The Security Council recognizes Burundi's dire economic and social conditions and affirms the need for the donor community to expand assistance for Burundi.”

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