23/05/2005
Press Release
SC/8390


Security Council

5184th Meeting (PM)*


SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES 15 MAY DECLARATION SIGNED BY BURUNDI PARTIES


TO CEASE HOSTILITIES, AGREE ON PERMANENT CEASEFIRE


Presidential Statement Says Agreement Should Allow

Rebel Group’s Rapid Integration into Transitional Process


The Security Council this afternoon took note with satisfaction of the declaration signed on 15 May in Dar es Salaam by the President of Burundi and the leader of the rebel group of Palipehutu-FNL, and the commitment by both parties to immediately cease hostilities, agree within a month on a permanent ceasefire, and negotiate without disturbing the electoral process.


In a statement read out by its President, Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark), the Council shared the understanding that the declaration was a first step that should allow FNL to be rapidly integrated, in a negotiated manner, into the transitional process currently in progress in Burundi.  It remained convinced that FNL’s participation in the transitional process would facilitate the holding of the forthcoming elections.


The Council commended the mediation of President Benjamin Mkapa and of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and, more generally, the efforts of States of the Regional Initiative for Peace in Burundi, chaired by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, and of the Facilitation led by South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, as well as those made by the Special Representative of the Secretary General, to bring the peace and national reconciliation process in Burundi to a successful conclusion.


The Council reiterated that bringing an end to the climate of impunity in Burundi and the Great Lakes region was essential to that process.


The Council urged all Burundian parties to exert greater efforts to ensure success of the transition, national reconciliation and stability of the country in the longer term.


The meeting began at 5:10 p.m. and ended at 5:15 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as S/PRST/2005/19, reads as follows:


“The Security Council took note with satisfaction of the declaration signed on 15 May 2005 in Dar es Salaam by the President of Burundi, Mr. Domitien Ndayizeye, and by the leader of the rebel group of Palipehutu-FNL, Mr. Agathon Rwasa.  The Council took note in particular of the commitment by both parties to immediately cease hostilities, agree within a month on a permanent ceasefire, and negotiate without disturbing the electoral process.


“The Security Council shares the understanding that this declaration is a first step that should allow FNL to be rapidly integrated, in a negotiated manner, into the transitional process currently in progress in Burundi.  The Council remains convinced that FNL’s participation in this process will facilitate the holding of the forthcoming elections, in accordance with the timetable confirmed at the last meeting of Member States of the Regional Initiative for Peace in Burundi, on 22 April 2005 in Entebbe.


“The Security Council commends the mediation of President Benjamin Mkapa and of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and, more generally, the efforts of States of the Regional Initiative chaired by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and of the Facilitation led by South African Deputy President Jacob Zuma, as well as those made by the Special Representative of the Secretary General, to bring the peace and national reconciliation process in Burundi to a successful conclusion.  The Council reiteratesthat bringing an end to the climate of impunity in Burundi and the Great Lakes region is essential to that process.


“The Security Council urges all Burundian parties to exert greater efforts to ensure success of the Transition, national reconciliation and stability of the country in the longer term.”


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*     The 5182nd and 5183rd meetings were closed.