18/09/2002
Press Release
AFR/482
SC/7504



PRESS STATEMENT ON BURUNDI BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL


Following is today's press statement on Burundi by the President of the Security Council, Stefan Tafrov (Bulgaria):


Yesterday the members of the Council heard Thérence Sinunguruza, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burundi.  They expressed grave concern about the continuation of hostilities in that country, as a result of the obstinate refusal of the rebel groups to negotiate.


The members of the Council deplore the continuing conflict, and firmly condemn the massacres which have just been committed in the Gitega region.


The members of the Council reiterate their full support for the mediation efforts of Vice-President Zuma and President Bongo, and the efforts by Tanzania, to achieve an end to the fighting.  They hope that the cycle of negotiations starting today at Dar es Salaam, under the chairmanship of Mr. Zuma, will finally lead to an agreement.


The members of the Council call on the rebels to seize this opportunity to achieve a negotiated settlement to the conflict, within the framework of the Arusha process.  They call on the rebels to demonstrate good faith and the will to achieve an agreement by taking a serious approach to the negotiations.


The members of the Council recall the need for increased mobilization of the donor community so that the commitments made at Paris in December 2000 and at Geneva in 2001 are respected, which is an essential condition for the success of the ongoing peace process.  They also stress the need for emergency budgetary assistance for the transitional Government in Burundi so as to enable it to cope with the exceptional situation it is currently experiencing.


* *** *