10/07/2003
Press Release
SC/7813
AFR/659



PRESS STATEMENT ON SITUATION IN BURUNDI BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is today’s press statement on Burundi by Security Council President Inocencio Arias (Spain):


Members of the Security Council heard a briefing from the Secretariat on the situation in Burundi and expressed their deep concern over the latest resumption of hostilities and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation.


Council Members strongly condemned the offensive launched on Bujumbura since 7 July 2003 by Palipehutu-FNL (Rwasa) rebel faction.  They called upon FNL to put an immediate and unconditional end to its offensive, and to enter into serious negotiations with the Transitional Government without further delay.


Members of the Council also strongly condemned the attack on the Muyange cantonment site on 30 June and the abduction of four members of the Burundian Parliament on 29 June 2003 by CNDD-FDD (Nkurunziza) rebel faction.  They called upon CNDD-FDD to stop resorting to violence and to refrain from any further action undermining the peace process.


Members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full support for the Arusha Peace Agreement of 28 August 2000 and for the subsequent ceasefire agreements signed on 7 October and 2 December 2002.


They reiterated their call upon all the parties, especially the CNDD-FDD (Nkurunziza) and the FNL (Rwasa) and including the Transitional Government, to engage in good faith in the search of a peaceful solution through dialogue on all outstanding issues, and urged them once more to abide by the agreements they have signed.


Council Members reaffirmed their support for the African Mission in Burundi.  They commended the progress it helped produce so far in the cantonment of rebel combatants and called on all concerned to provide, as a matter of urgency, adequate financial and logistical assistance to the Mission.


Members of the Security Council urged States in the region to exert their positive influence on the Burundian rebel groups so that they cease resorting to violence and join fully the Arusha Agreement peace process, and welcomed the proposal to convene, as soon as possible, a summit of the Regional Initiative to help in the resolution of outstanding issues.


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