SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR DIALOGUE, RAPID HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN BURUNDI

5 March 1996
SC/6189

SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR DIALOGUE, RAPID HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN BURUNDI

5 March 1996

Press ReleaseSC/6189

SECURITY COUNCIL ENCOURAGES CONTINGENCY PLANNING FOR DIALOGUE, RAPID HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE IN BURUNDI

19960305 With Unanimous Adoption of Resolution 1049 (1996), Council Calls for Serious Negotiations towards National Reconciliation

The Security Council this afternoon unanimously encouraged the Secretary-General to continue consultations with concerned Member States and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on contingency planning to support a comprehensive dialogue and for a rapid response to widespread violence or a serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Burundi.

By adopting resolution 1049 (1996), the Council called upon all concerned in Burundi to engage, as a matter of urgency, in serious negotiations and mutual accommodation and to increase efforts towards national reconciliation.

The Secretary-General, in a report to the Council, had urged it to consider the possible establishment of a stand-by multinational intervention force to be sent to Burundi should large-scale ethnic violence erupt there.

The Council, by the resolution, also demanded that those concerned refrain from violence, incitement to violence and from seeking to destabilize the security situation or depose the Government by force or by other unconstitutional means.

The Secretary-General was requested to consult with the Burundi Government, the OAU, the European Union, Heads of State of the Great Lakes region and concerned Member States on the convening of a regional conference for peace, security and development.

Addressing the Council, the Permanent Representative of Burundi said the Burundian army was completely prepared to confront any expeditionary force from outside, regardless of any humanitarian intent. A military option would be counter-productive at a time all Burundians were agreed on a road to peace. The Security Council and the Secretary-General should support their efforts.

The Government and the army should be the ones to determine the timing or need for such intervention, he went on to say. The assertion in the Secretary-General's report that the army was divided along ethnic lines was

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unfounded. The army was unanimously opposed to outside intervention. Mass demonstrations against the interventionist force had taken place in the country, proving that the entire population was opposed to it, he stressed.

Statements were also made by the representatives of Italy (on behalf of the European Union), Egypt, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Chile, United States, Honduras, Russian Federation, China, Republic of Korea, Germany, France, Poland, Guinea-Bissau, Botswana, Norway, Tunisia (on behalf of the African Group), Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria.

The meeting convened at 11:30 a.m., and, following a suspension of more than three hours, adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Secretary-General's Report

The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in Burundi which the Secretary General describes in his report of 15 February (document S/1996/116) as desperately serious. It would be useful for the Council to consider the possibility of establishing a stand-by multinational force for humanitarian intervention, the Secretary General states. For that purpose, consultations would be undertaken by countries, including some African States, with a proven rapid deployment capability, on earmarking contingents for participation in the multinational force. The force would remain in their respective home countries but would be fully trained and equipped, so as to be ready for deployment at very short notice. The proposed force would be established under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and led by a Member State.

The Council could review the situation and, in the absence of political dialogue, decide to establish the multinational force, the report states. It could also decide to give prior authorization, on a contingency basis, for the deployment of the force to Burundi in the event of an eruption of large-scale ethnic violence.

The report was submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 1040 (1996) of 29 January in which the Secretary-General was requested to keep the Council closely informed on the situation in Burundi. He was also requested to consider what further steps of a preventive nature might be necessary to avoid a further deterioration of the situation and to develop contingency plans.

In his report, the Secretary-General says the mandate of the multinational force, which would total 25,000 troops, would be to deter massacres, provide security to refugees, displaced persons and civilians at risk, and to protect economic installations. All parties in Burundi would be clearly warned that any attack on the force would draw an immediate and forceful response. Should the parties decide not to adopt a hostile attitude, it is estimated that 5,000 to 8,000 troops might suffice. The duration of the operation will depend on the speed with which the situation can be stabilized. Once that had been achieved, the responsibility could be transferred to a United Nations peace-keeping mission under Chapter VI of the Charter.

The Secretary-General reports that although the official response of the Government of Burundi to his proposals remains negative, it is widely believed in Bujumbura that the consideration of strong steps by the Council is essential. If the international community -- including the Council, individual donor countries and Burundi's neighbours -- acted in a coherent and concerted way, the Secretary-General says the extremists on both sides in Burundi would not be under any illusions that they could exploit perceived differences and continue to destabilize the country with impunity.

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The Secretary-General describes the political and security situation in Burundi as defined by visceral fears and brutal struggles for power. Much of the Tutsi minority, historically dominant, lives with the phobia of its physical elimination, while the Hutu majority demands proper political representation. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda has heightened the fears of the minority, leading extremist elements to undertake ruthless actions against Hutu populations. Hutu extremists, in turn, are reinforced and supported from outside the country by some of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. In such an environment, "the voices of moderation are being drowned out, silenced or eliminated altogether", he says.

According to the report, December was characterized by widespread violence and by attempts to overthrow President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya. Violence was also directed against members of the international humanitarian community, leading the Secretary-General to dispatch the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, to the country. In her findings, contained in a letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council (document S/1996/36), dated 16 January, Mrs. Ogata urged the dispatch of a technical security mission to examine ways to improve existing security arrangements, including the limited deployment of United Nations guards to protect United Nations personnel and premises.

According to the Secretary-General, a technical team which went to Burundi from 27 January to 3 February concluded that, in the current context of violence and instability, United Nations guards would not be able to guarantee the security of humanitarian personnel there. The team reported that the guards themselves could become potential targets for extremist groups. The Secretary-General urged generous response by Member States to an appeal -- which will be made in the coming days -- for additional funds to strengthen existing inter-agency security mechanisms in Burundi.

The Secretary-General says Burundi President Ntibantunganya had in a New Year message, called upon institutions, state services and organizations to work together to overcome the phenomena of fear, violence and uncertainty. For his part, Prime Minister Antoine Nduwayo had publicly warned that the ideology of exclusion and genocide was gaining ground. The Government was engaged in its third campaign for the return of peace, the intensification of which could augur well for the future. The efforts of the President and the Prime Minister have, to some extent, succeeded in calming the situation in the country.

The Secretary-General says that any solution to the crisis in Burundi will depend on the combined political will of the parties in conflict and of the international community. It is the responsibility of the parties to find the strength and courage to embark on the path of mutual accommodation and national reconciliation. Despite the efforts of his Special Representative, Marc Faguy, and others, in particular former President Julius Nyerere of the

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United Republic of Tanzania, the Secretary General expressed regret that no significant progress has yet been achieved in the establishment of the broad- based political dialogue which is the only way to achieve these goals.

He also regrets that the international community failed to respond adequately to the recommendations of the two missions sent by the Security Council to Burundi in August 1994 and February 1995. He refers, in particular, to the technical, advisory and financial assistance that Member States could provide to integrate more Hutus into the Government, to silence hate radios and to organize the crucial national debate. He says actions such as selective measures on certain known extremists (denial of visas, freezing of foreign assets, etc.) could also have a positive effect.

Some of the Burundian military and their extremist allies are the most opposed to international intervention or preventive deployment. The challenge before the international community is whether to take an initiative that is welcomed by those who want peace or whether to allow the extremists to retain their veto over effective international action. While preventive diplomacy is always preferred, it must in some situations be backed by a credible threat to use force, in order to stave off humanitarian disaster. "Burundi is a test case for the United Nations ability to take such action", the Secretary- General asserts. Indeed it could even contribute to the search for a workable system of collective security at a time when civil wars and ethnic conflicts are becoming increasingly frequent.

Preventive diplomacy should remain the preferred mode of conflict management and resolution, especially when the parties to a dispute are prepared to engage in a constructive dialogue to overcome their differences. However, in situations where a meaningful dialogue cannot be achieved and the conflict threatens to escalate, preventive diplomacy alone may no longer be sufficient. The situation in Burundi has reached the stage where it has become necessary to consider other steps of a preventive nature, including those with a military aspect, to persuade the parties to leave the path of confrontation.

The Secretary-General reports that the June 1995 Summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had seriously considered military intervention if there should be a dramatic deterioration in the security situation in Burundi. This option was to be pursued in cooperation with the United Nations. The Secretary-General of the OAU, Salim Ahmed Salim, has stated that he would support any intervention aimed at preventing a disaster and he was confident that the vast majority of OAU members would support the multinational operation recommended by the Secretary-General.

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Draft Resolution

The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/162) which reads as follows:

"The Security Council,

"Reaffirming its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the situation in Burundi, in particular the statement of its President of 5 January 1996 (S/PRST/1996/1) and resolution 1040 (1996) of 29 January 1996,

"Noting the views expressed by the Government of Burundi set out in the letter to the President of the Security Council dated 13 February 1996 (S/1996/110, annex),

"Welcoming the efforts of the President and the Prime Minister of Burundi and other members of the Government to calm the situation in the country,

"Deeply concerned at the support extended to certain groups in Burundi by some of the perpetrators of the genocide in Rwanda and the threat this poses to the stability of the region,

"Deeply concerned also at all acts of violence in Burundi and at the continued incitement to ethnic hatred and violence by radio stations and the growth of calls for exclusion and genocide,

"Deeply disturbed that the persistence of the conflict has had a negative impact on the humanitarian situation and on the capacity of the international community to continue to assist the people of Burundi,

"Supporting the work of the Commission of Inquiry established by resolution 1012 (1995),

"Taking note of the letter from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council dated 3 January 1996 (S/1996/8), in which he reports that the Commission of Inquiry believes the United Nations security personnel currently provided for its protection are inadequate,

"Reiterating the urgent need for all concerned in Burundi, including extremists inside and outside the country, to make concerted efforts to defuse the present crisis and to commit themselves to a dialogue aimed at establishing a permanent political settlement and the creation of conditions conducive to national reconciliation,

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"Reaffirming its commitment to assist the people of Burundi to achieve a lasting political solution,

"Recognizing the urgent need for preparations aimed at anticipating and preventing the escalation of the present crisis in Burundi,

"Reaffirming its support for the Convention of Government of 10 September 1994 (S/1995/190, annex), and for the institutions of Government established in line with it,

"1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 15 February 1996 (S/1996/116);

"2. Condemns in the strongest terms all acts of violence perpetrated against civilians, refugees and international humanitarian personnel and the assassination of government officials;

"3. Demands that all concerned in Burundi refrain from all acts of violence, incitement to violence and from seeking to destabilize the security situation or depose the Government by force or by other unconstitutional means;

"4. Calls upon all concerned in Burundi to engage, as a matter of urgency, in serious negotiations and mutual accommodation within the framework of the National Debate agreed upon by the signatories to the Convention and to increase efforts towards national reconciliation;

"5. Reiterates its invitation to Member States and others to cooperate in the identification and dismantling of radio stations which incite hatred and acts of violence in Burundi;

"6. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with interested States and organizations, to report to the Council on the possibility of establishing a United Nations radio station in Burundi, including through voluntary contributions, to promote reconciliation and dialogue and to relay constructive information as well as supporting the activities undertaken by other United Nations agencies, particularly in the fields of refugees and returnees;

"7. Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the Commission of Inquiry, reminds the Government of Burundi of its responsibility to ensure security and protection for members and personnel of the Commission, requests the Secretary-General to continue his consultations with the Government of Burundi and the Organization of African Unity Observer Mission in Burundi with a view to ensure that adequate security is provided for the Commission, and invites Member States to provide adequate voluntary financing to the Commission;

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"8. Expresses strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and his Special Representative, the Organization of African Unity, the European Union, former Presidents Nyerere and Carter and the other facilitators appointed by the Cairo Conference, and others seeking to facilitate political dialogue in Burundi and encourages the international community to extend political and financial support to the National Debate;

"9. Invites Member States and regional, international and non- governmental organizations to stand ready to provide assistance in support of progress achieved by the parties towards political dialogue, and to cooperate with the Government of Burundi in initiatives for comprehensive and rehabilitation in Burundi, including in military and police reform, judicial assistance, development programmes and support at international financial institutions;

"10. Encourages the Organization of African Unity to increase the size of its Observer Mission in Burundi, as formally requested by the Government of Burundi, and stresses the need for the military observers to operate without any restrictions on their movement to any part of the country;

"11. Declares its commitment and readiness to assist the parties in their implementation of agreements reached through political dialogue;

"12. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation as appropriate with the Government of Burundi, the Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region, Member States concerned, the Organization of African Unity and the European Union, to intensify the preparations for convening a Regional Conference for Peace, Security and Development in the Great Lakes Region to address the issues of political and economic stability, as well as peace and security in the Great Lakes States;

"13. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue his consultations with Member States concerned and the Organization of African Unity, as appropriate, on contingency planning both for the steps that might be taken to support a comprehensive dialogue and for a rapid humanitarian response in the event of widespread violence or a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Burundi;

"14. Decides to keep the situation under constant review, to consider further the Secretary-General's recommendations in light of the developments in Burundi and declares it readiness to respond as appropriate considering all relevant options including those contained in resolution 1040 (1996);

"15. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Council closely informed on the situation in Burundi, including on his efforts to facilitate a comprehensive political dialogue, to report to the Council in the event of a serious deterioration in the situation, and to submit a full report on the

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implementation of this resolution by 1 May 1996;

"16. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

Statements

NSANZE TERENCE (Burundi) noted that the Secretary-General had given priority to possible military intervention in his latest report on Burundi. According to the prophets of doom, genocide in his country seemed a certainty. That was not the case, he said.

He said the forces of security had broken the back of those who incited people to genocide. It was wrong to think the country would descend to the situation which occurred in Rwanda.

Members of the Government from 12 political parties had agreed to a Convention Government. The standard message propagated to rally various segments of the population together was peace A campaign for peace carried out recently had been successful. A new phenomenon for peace had emerged isolating those opposed to it.

The Burundi army deserved praise. Regardless of what its detractors might say, the army was the primary defender of democracy. Citizens, with confidence in the army, had joined it in combating terrorism. A sacred alliance was developing between them and the army, he said.

He said the army was completely prepared to confront any expeditionary force from outside regardless of any humanitarian intent. A military option would be counter-productive at a time all Burundians were agreed on a road to peace. The Security Council and the Secretary-General should support their efforts.

Military intervention would expose the Burundi Government and army to every risk, he continued. Armed bands would raise the stakes and certain individuals aspiring to power would avail themselves of the climate created by outside military intervention.

Introduction of a multinational force would be tantamount to attack on his country's sovereignty. The Government and the army should be the ones to determine the timing or need for such intervention. It was up to the people themselves to decide their own destiny. The Government attached importance to the mediation efforts of former Presidents Julius Nyerere of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Jimmy Carter of the United States, he said.

A miniature cold war would develop in Burundi if a multinational force was introduced. Any covert machinations would lead to the army looking for help from outside to defend the country. The assertion in the Secretary- General's report that the army was divided along ethnic lines was unfounded. The army was unanimously opposed to outside intervention. Mass demonstrations against the interventionist force had taken place in the country, proving that the entire population was opposed to it, he stressed.

He asked whether it was not imperative that at the dawn of a new millennium the international community should look for peaceful rather than

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military force to resolve problems.

FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), speaking on behalf of the European Union and also on behalf of Poland, Hungary, Slovak Republic, Malta, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania and Cyprus, said that when the Council had met on 29 January on the situation in Burundi, the European Union had expressed full support for the efforts of the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly the OAU, to defuse tensions in Burundi. The European Union had also pointed out that the only way to permanently end the crisis was through a political solution.

That statement had underlined the hope for a renewal of the spirit of reconciliation in Burundi, he said. "Another potential humanitarian catastrophe in the region can be averted only if all the interested parties realize that there is no viable solution outside of dialogue. War and violence must be discarded as an option. We all must strive in this direction."

During the last month, he continued, the situation in the country seemed to have improved somewhat, due to stronger cohesion within the Government. The strong willingness of the international community to address the situation and keep it under constant review had also had an influence on the political situation there.

The United Nations, the OAU and the European Union had mobilized their efforts and were working in close coordination, he said. "This is a critical factor." He expressed confidence in the capacity of the Secretary-General and of eminent personalities, especially former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere, to promote a climate of trust between the parties. The Special Envoy of the European Union for the Great Lakes Region, Aldo Ajello, would give them his full support. Mr. Ajello would stay in close contact with the government of the countries of the region in order to avoid duplication of initiatives.

The draft resolution before the Council contained all the elements needed to support the progress towards dialogue, which should be strengthened and broadened. The draft was also very clear when it warned the parties that the international community might be forced to change its attitude if there were acts of violence and attempts at destabilization. The Secretary-General should be encouraged to continue consultations for further steps towards supporting a comprehensive dialogue, and for a possible response in the

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unfortunate event of widespread violence and a serious deterioration in the situation.

"Political support is important, as is the willingness of the international community to concretely assist the Government of Burundi in development programmes for rehabilitating the country", he said. The European Union was the largest donor in Burundi. The Union and its member States were already contributing in the critical fields of humanitarian and human rights assistance, as well as assistance to the judiciary and the police. Its willingness to provide that much-needed assistance would nevertheless depend to a great extent on the Government's continuation of its efforts at dialogue and reconciliation.

He expressed satisfaction over the inclusion in the draft resolution of a firm reference to the need to intensify the preparations for convening a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. Such a conference could provide a significant opportunity to address, in a broader perspective, the issue of political and economic stability, humanitarian questions, as well as peace and security in the area.

NABIL A. ELARABY (Egypt) said the consideration of the situation in Burundi by the Council represented the determination of the international community to pay attention to the events there. He stressed the responsibility of people of Burundi to normalize the situation there.

Reviewing provisions of the report before the Council, he recalled that the Secretary-General had sent a technical team to Burundi. In order to face the unstable situation there, he said, the Secretary-General had provided options to address it in case it exploded. Egypt supported the preventive- diplomacy approach proposed by the Secretary-General. It was gratifying that President Nyerere was ready to play a coordinating role regarding Burundi.

The OAU had played an important role in Burundi since 1993 despite its scarce resources and the deteriorating situation in Burundi, he said. Military observers had been sent that, although not very well received at first, had now become indispensable to coordinate efforts there.

The draft resolution reflected the required balance to face the situation in Burundi, he said. Egypt would vote in favour of it.

STEPHEN GOMERSALL (United Kingdom) said his Government remained concerned about the situation in Burundi and would vote in favour of the draft resolution. He paid tribute to the Non-Aligned Movement caucus for its work in bringing the draft resolution to the consideration of the Council. "This focuses, rightly in our view, on preventive diplomacy to assist efforts at finding a lasting political solution and it encourages the international

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community to help underpin those efforts in support of continuing political progress."

He said the message that the draft resolution sent to the leaders of Burundi, both within and outside the Government, was crystal clear. All parties were called upon to refrain from violence and to engage seriously in political dialogue. The international community was prepared to support a dialogue from outside and to provide international assistance of a political, preventive and material kind in support of progress achieved. The initiative and responsibility lay with the Government of Burundi.

Recent positive developments deserved to be acknowledged, as they provided the basic elements for political progress, he said. He commended the spirit in which the parties were now working together. There had been a reduction in tension, due largely to the Government's recent pacification campaign. Also, a date had now been set for the national debate. The parties in Burundi must now build on those relatively positive developments and start the process of a genuine political dialogue in support of the principles of the Convention on Government.

While Burundi's leaders were ultimately responsible for restoring hope and stability to their country, he said, the draft resolution addressed the many ways in which the international community could help. It encouraged international assistance and expertise in support of a continuing political dialogue. In that context, he strongly supported the collective efforts of former President Julius Nyerere and former President Sekou Toure, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi, the OAU, the European Union and eminent regional leaders appointed by the Cairo Conference of Heads of States of the Great Lakes region. All of the actors had their respective roles to play. It was important that their efforts were properly coordinated, a process which had already begun with their meeting in Addis Ababa on 29 February.

The draft resolution also envisaged more concrete forms of assistance, he went on. It looked to the possibility of a United Nations radio station to promote reconciliation and dialogue. More generally, it requested further contingency planning on other steps to support a comprehensive dialogue. "In our view, that might include the possibility of an international presence to underpin the political process", he said, adding that however, "we need to be alert to what is practicable and also to the impact of what we do on Burundi".

The situation in Burundi remained volatile, he said. The Secretary- General's report had depicted a sobering picture of the suffering which might result if the parties in Burundi did not build on the modest gains which had been achieved recently. "And we know that Burundi will not rid itself easily or quickly of political violence and extremism", he said. Therefore, the international community remained prepared to consider further measures against

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those who rejected that approach and chose to pursue violent means to achieve their aims. He fully supported the call for continued contingency planning for a humanitarian response against the possibility of widespread violence and a worsening of the humanitarian situation.

International attention should continue to be focused on Burundi and the Council should remain closely seized of developments, he said. There was a lot to be gained for the people of Burundi and the region as a whole by a concerted major push to advance the political dialogue. "The means are there if the will is", he said. He expressed the hope that the voice of the Council would be heeded by those who held Burundi's future in their hands.

NUGROHO WISNUMURTI (Indonesia) said his delegation was pleased to note that the situation in Burundi had recently demonstrated signs of stabilizing, although there still existed the potential for escalating tragedy. The situation required urgent action if Burundi was to move further away from the brink of disaster.

Further procrastination and ambivalence would not only have severe consequences for Burundi, but would also encourage the spread of instability though the Great Lakes region. He therefore welcomed the recent proliferation of regional and international peace initiatives, particularly the efforts of former Presidents Nyerere and Carter.

The Indonesian delegation, he said, recognized the enormous task and challenges facing the Government of Burundi. A climate of stability and trust would give impetus for dialogue, accompanied by mutual accommodation, in Burundi. The draft resolution under consideration by the Council contained an array of important measures to promote national reconciliation and dialogue. The combination of those measures could encourage an atmosphere that would temper the vast differences separating the parties and give rise to the voice of moderation and reason that the crisis desperately cried out for.

The crisis in Burundi should be addressed in a comprehensive manner, particularly at the regional as well as international levels, he said. An approach which recognized the mutually inclusive nature of the underlying problems in Burundi and the broader Great Lakes region, such as refugees, economic dislocations, ethnic struggles, would prove more beneficial.

He urged all concerned parties to renew their commitment to the National Debate and to increase their efforts towards achieving national reconciliation. His country also supported the convening of a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region.

While expressing fully support for the promotion of a broad-based dialogue, he said that objective could be further advanced through the consideration of contingency planning for a rapid humanitarian response in the

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event that the situation rapidly deteriorated. Such a step would allow the international community to be more prepared in responding effectively. He stressed the importance of international assistance to reform Burundi's military, police and judicial system, as well as development programmes and support.

He emphasized that measures to help the country would be to no avail without the cooperation of the parties. That should include full cooperation with the Commission of Inquiry and the exercise of caution and restraint as well as refraining from any activities that might incite further violence or threaten international humanitarian personnel. Indonesia would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) thanked the Secretary-General for his report, which had indicated that although the situation in Burundi was calmer, the trend was negative. The draft resolution targeted those areas in which the international community could help. The promotion of dialogue was no easy task. That was the reason the Council made an appeal to authorities there to engage in negotiations.

The involvement of former President Julius K. Nyerere could have an important influence in helping defuse the situation there, he said. Also, the efforts of former United States President Jimmy Carter could help in that regard.

Reviewing provisions of the draft resolution, he said what the Council needed was for the challenge of engaging in dialogue to be tackled by all members of society, including the extremists. The Council was asking the Secretary-General to continue with his efforts. The capacity for a rapid humanitarian response was essential, so the Council would not have to regret later having acted otherwise.

He said the draft resolution, which his country supported, was the outcome of serious consultations whose aim was to help the people of Burundi in their quest for peace and development. The destiny of Burundi was in the hands of its people and particularly its leaders, he concluded.

MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States) said the turmoil in Burundi was of great concern to her country and others. Although the fate of Burundi was in Burundian hands, regional organizations, neighbouring States and others would help the modern elements surmount pressure for violence.

The international community recognized efforts of the existing Government to establish calm. It could make clear that it would oppose efforts to destabilize it by force or other extra-constitutional means.

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She stressed the importance of serious negotiations conducted within a framework of the national debate agreed upon by signatories of the Convention Government. It was critical that leaders of the various factions did not misunderstand the intentions and motives of the international community whose goal was simply to encourage outcomes within Burundi consistent with internationally recognized principles of human rights and with Burundi's own legal and constitutional processes.

She said the international community could provide resources such as human rights monitors and economic aid that might help overcome obstacles to reconciliation. Given the horrors of what happened in Rwanda, and the persistence of the outrages in Burundi, the international community would fail in its responsibilities if it did not plan for the contingency that widespread violence might resume. She urged Member States to cooperate with the United Nations and the United States in that effort.

She also hoped that additional security and investigatory personnel to the Commission of Inquiry be provided. The United States supported the resolution. Everything should be done to help Burundi build a future based on law and tolerance.

GERARDO MARTINEZ BLANCO (Honduras) said that since the Council last acted on the situation in Burundi, not much progress had been made. The initiative of promoting dialogue remained the most effective way of defusing the situation there and he supported all efforts in that regard. The international community should not wait for a humanitarian disaster, such as the one that had occurred in Rwanda, to act. Thus, he supported the Secretary-General's proposal concerning a rapid humanitarian response.

There had been an increase in ethnic-related attacks and also in attacks against humanitarian personnel, he said. The Council should condemn those acts in no uncertain terms. Also, the question of refugees was a matter of great concern. Countries of the region had attempted to tackle the refugee crisis, but they had failed due to the lack of political will. Therefore, he supported the efforts of the Secretary-General towards the convening of a conference on the Great Lakes region, which would also address that matter. he strongly supported the draft resolution before the Council.

VASILY S. SIDOROV (Russian Federation) said there was great concern in his country about the situation in Burundi, which posed a real threat to the region as a whole. He said the draft resolution reflected the concern of the international community and also provided a balanced solution.

It was important that the peace-keeping mechanisms of regional organizations and neighbouring States were made use of. Arrangements for the proposed regional conference should be stepped up. Extremists in the country should be warned that the international community would resort to any action

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should the situation deteriorate. The Russian Federation would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

QIN HUASUN (China) said the comprehensive statement by the representative of Burundi was well worth consideration. He expressed satisfaction over actions by the Burundian authorities towards stability in the country. He also expressed support in that regard.

Despite positive developments, he said, problems still remained in Burundi. Reviewing efforts towards defusing the situation, he stressed that the internal affairs of a country should be settled by the people of that country.

China would vote in favour of the draft resolution, he said, on the understanding that regardless of the action the Council decided to take, it should consult with the country concerned and seek its consent. He urged all parties in Burundi to carry out broad-based dialogue and make their contribution to the peace and stability in the region.

PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) said his country remained deeply concerned at the persistence of violence, the dire humanitarian situation and continued incitement to ethnic hatred by radio stations in Burundi. He paid tribute to the OAU for the prominent role it had played in monitoring peace in Burundi under trying conditions with meagre financial resources. The OAU should be encouraged to strengthen its role there by expanding its military observer mission, although it could not be left alone to bear the onerous burden of maintaining the peace there. Given the far-reaching implications of an explosion of a humanitarian tragedy in Burundi for the peace and stability of the entire Great Lakes region, it was clear that ultimate responsibility of peace-keeping there fell on the United Nations.

He said the international community faced two crucial challenges in bringing lasting peace and stability to Burundi. One was how to forestall the recurrence of a humanitarian disaster of the kind witnessed earlier in Rwanda. The other was how to bring about a lasting political settlement by addressing the root causes of the conflict. Political dialogue across the whole political spectrum in Burundi was sine qua non and the most ideal means to resolve the simmering Burundian crisis. The international community, however, needed a viable alternative in case political dialogue proved ineffectual. Moreover, dialogue and contingency planning were mutually complementary and reinforced each other. International efforts for a political settlement of the crisis through dialogue had a better chance of success if backed by a credible contingency plan for a timely response in the event of a serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation.

He said his Government supported and welcomed the efforts of the Secretary-General, the OAU, the European Union and former President Julius

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Nyerere and Jimmy Carter of Tanzania and the United States respectively to promote political dialogue in Burundi. It supported the holding of a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region and encouraged the Secretary-General to intensify his preparations for such a conference in close consultations with Member States concerned, the OAU and the European Union.

He stressed that international efforts to facilitate dialogue in Burundi could not replace the efforts of the Burundian parties themselves to come to terms with one another and live in peace. The priority of the international effort should be to ensure that all parties abided by the letter and spirit of the Convention of Government so that the coalition government might work as it should.

He said the international community could play a meaningful role towards that end by helping to organize a national debate embracing Burundian leaders of all political stripes and by guaranteeing the implementation of the agreement resulting from the debate. In that respect, he called upon all parties in Burundi to put aside their factional interests and exert political goodwill towards achieving mutual accommodation and genuine national reconciliation.

The Republic of Korea would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

TONO EITEL (Germany) said Germany supported the statement Italy had made on behalf of the European Union. As the Secretary-General had pointed out, his recent report of 15 February represented the fourth time in less than seven weeks that he had brought the issue of Burundi to the attention of the Council. The Secretary-General continued to say that he had done that in the conviction that the situation in the country was desperately serious. It was, therefore, most appropriate that members of the Council and the general membership of the United Nations had the opportunity to express their views on the situation in Burundi and to discuss what the international community should do. "As you know, Germany strongly supports this increase of transparency", he stressed.

Even if the situation at present was somewhat calmer, deep concern remained, he said. He expressed concern at the acts of violence and the incitement to ethnic hatred, which might escalate. In addition, the humanitarian situation was also reason for concern. "Burundi needs a serious and comprehensive dialogue which would lead to a permanent political settlement and national reconciliation", he said. That was not an easy task under the prevailing circumstances, but it was not impossible either. The signatories of the Convention of Government had agreed to a national debate. That should be the framework for the much needed dialogue.

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Such dialogue would not be possible in a violent environment, he went on. Therefore all parties, including and particularly those who hold extremist positions, were called upon to refrain from acts of violence. Furthermore, the dissemination of propaganda in Burundi, which incited hatred, should stop. On the contrary, radio waves in Burundi should be used to promote reconciliation and dialogue, to relay constructive information.

It was the responsibility of the Burundi parties to do everything they could to achieve a peaceful settlement, he said. Efforts were being made to help bring about that settlement, including those by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, the OAU, the European Union (which had just nominated a special representative for the Great Lakes region, former Presidents Nyerere and Carter, and the other facilitators appointed by the Cairo Conference. Governments in their bilateral contacts also supported efforts to bring about a peaceful solution for Burundi, including Germany. The economic recovery of Burundi with the assistance of the international community would only be possible in a peaceful and stable environment.

What happens in Burundi could have repercussions beyond the country's borders and pose a threat to the stability of the whole region, he said. Preparations for convening a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region should therefore be intensified. Germany strongly supported the draft resolution.

ALAIN DEJAMMET (France) said the situation in Burundi remained fragile. Institutions set up after the national debate should be encouraged. The common efforts of the Burundi Government had already borne some fruit. The Security Council should ensure that its actions did not run counter to the efforts of the Government. The Council should also be mindful of the reaction of the Burundi public.

The main players should continue with the dialogue, he continued. Mediation efforts of outsiders should be supported. The Government of Burundi should be supported in its effort at dismantling the radio station that had been fomenting hatred. The international community should explore the options to respond adequately to possible humanitarian disasters, should they occur.

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Following the suspension of the meeting from 1:25 p.m. until 4:48 p.m., ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland) said the situation in Burundi remained a matter of grave concern to the international community. Although the last report of the Secretary-General had noted certain signs of consolidation of the uneasy peace in the country, the political and security environment there continued to be tense and volatile.

International efforts to avert a further worsening of the situation therefore seemed imperative. The draft resolution reflected the conviction that combined political endeavours on the part of the international community could still be effective and that the possibilities of exerting diplomatic and political influence on the parties concerned had not yet been exhausted and should be adequately enhanced. The principal message conveyed in the draft resolution was that further evolution of the situation in Burundi would depend on both parties to a dispute, and especially the more radical factions among them, as well as on the assistance of the international community.

He said the professionalization of the Burundian army and its restructuring on a wider base of recruitment, comprising all the ethnic groups, seemed to be essential for the stability of the country. It was important to note that the draft resolution addressed the issue of security of aid personnel. That was a matter of fundamental importance for the survival of the Burundian state. He said the Polish delegation would vote in favour of the draft resolution.

ADELINO MANO QUETA (Guinea-Bissau) said that despite certain encouraging signs, the situation in Burundi continued to be a matter of concern to the international community. He thanked those who were making efforts to bring peace and stability to the region, including President Nyerere and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.

He appealed to all interested parties to participate in the political dialogue referred to in the draft. He congratulated the President of Burundi and the Prime Minister for their efforts to encourage the national debate in the country. He expressed the hope that the adoption of the draft would contribute to the political dialogue in Burundi. He would vote in favour of the draft.

LEGWAILA J.M.J. LEGWAILA (Botswana) said the situation in Burundi continued to be a source of deep concern to the international community. Acts of violence and the general climate of insecurity were making it difficult for the personnel of international humanitarian organizations to continue their operations. That unstable political situation had had a negative impact on the productive sectors of the economy. The displacement of tens of thousands of people had dealt a severe blow to the agricultural sector, which contributed about 90 per cent to the national economy. Also, the growth of extremist groups both inside and outside the country was most worrying. Even

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more disturbing was the attempt to annihilate moderate political forces prepared to seek a negotiated political settlement. The international community had repeatedly called for negotiations to bring an end to the crisis.

He supported an early negotiated settlement to the political stalemate, and urged the people of Burundi to do all in their power to engage in negotiations aimed at bringing an immediate end to the hatred festering in their country's body politic. Their political leaders should rise above their petty quarrels to save their beautiful country from total collapse and chaos, he said. He was strongly convinced that only a political solution in which the rights of all the people of Burundi, irrespective of ethnicity, would be protected and respected could end the carnage and bring peace and stability to the hapless country. His delegation appealed to the people of Burundi of all political persuasions both inside and outside the country to begin, without delay, the process of negotiations aimed at bringing about national reconciliation.

While political dialogue was undoubtedly the option of first choice, the international community, he said, could not afford to watch in an impassive manner as extremist elements became emboldened and created conditions likely to lead to a severe deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Burundi. It was imperative, therefore, that the international community should be united on the need for contingency planning aimed at a robust response in the event that the humanitarian situation deteriorated further and violence became widespread and uncontrollable. The international community had learned a bitter lesson from the genocide in Rwanda. There cold be no justification for lack of preparedness in the event of an outbreak of violence on a large scale in Burundi, he added.

SVEIN AASS (Norway) supported the statement by the European Union. There was no viable solution outside political dialogue, which was the only way to achieve sustainable peace and reconciliation in Burundi. His Government had adopted a plan of action for the Great Lakes region. It had allocated over $20 million in bilateral humanitarian assistance and support for peace and reconciliation efforts in Rwanda and Burundi in 1996.

His country was a strong supporter of the international mediation efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, as well as the OAU and prominent African leaders, like former President Nyerere, he said. He also welcomed the European Union's recent appointment of a special envoy for the Great Lakes region. He hoped that international presence had helped to impress on potential perpetrators the seriousness with which the international community viewed violent threats to the process of negotiated change. His Government had supported from the beginning efforts to convene an international conference on cooperation, security and stability in the Great Lakes region and hoped to see progress achieved soon in that regard.

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There were some encouraging signs in Burundi, he said. The "campagne de sensibiliation", which the Government had carried out, seemed to have contributed to reducing the use of violence. He strongly hoped that that development would continue. However, there was still reason to be deeply disturbed about the security situation for the civilian population, as well as for the international humanitarian relief activities and their workers.

He said that without a strong commitment from the Burundian Government to reconciliation and peace, as well as adequate security guarantees and respect for human rights, it would not be possible for the international community to provide the necessary assistance to the authorities in order to bring about rehabilitation and reconstruction of the country. It had been with that humanitarian aim in mind that the international community had discussed possible measures and contingency planning for improving the security situation in Burundi. "This should be considered as a support for the government's own efforts towards peace and reconciliation", he concluded.

SLAHEDDINE ABDELLAH (Tunisia), speaking on behalf of the African Group, said the only path to salvation in Burundi was dialogue and national reconciliation. The relative improvement in the security situation in Bujumbura, the capital, was encouraging. He exhorted the people of Burundi, particularly the army, to demonstrate their desire for peace.

He said the OAU, through its conflict resolution mechanism, was helping Burundi achieve a political settlement. The international community should strengthen its encouragement to the parties to achieve a peaceful conclusion of dialogue. He called for efforts to dismantle the radio that had been broadcasting hate messages. He reiterated appeals to neighbouring States to help resolve the problems of the subregion.

At the humanitarian level, he called for urgent assistance to refugees. He announced that a second conference on the Great Lakes region would be held in Tunis next week. The heads of State of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Zaire and the United Republic of Tanzania would attend the conference, at which humanitarian issues would be discussed.

The conference would constitute a landmark contribution to the establishment of security, peace and stability in the region, he said. It would also be a step towards development and reconstruction in Burundi.

MANZI BAKURAMUTSA (Rwanda) welcomed the open debate on Burundi, which was very necessary for all African members of the Organization. The evils which affected Burundi affected all the subregion. Among those evils was the institutionalization of impunity. That culture of impunity had encouraged criminals of all stripes. The impunity institutionalized in the subregion had been encouraged by the inaction of the international community.

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The powerful impact of messages of hatred propagated by radio stations was recognized by all, he said, noting that had happened in Rwanda and was happening in Burundi. He paid tribute to institutions in Burundi which had safeguarded the population despite the provocations.

Further, another problem was the response of the international community, he went on. No one was speaking of dismantling the hate radio, but if that, for instance, would happen, the people of Burundi would enjoy a respite that would encourage the dialogue.

Also, the economic situation of the region was deteriorating and was not conducive to peace, he said. The countries of the region must participate actively in solving their own problems. He commended former President Nyerere and Archbishop Desmond Tutu for their efforts to bring peace to the region.

He emphasized that a solution to the region's problems required an end to the culture of impunity now prevailing in the region.

DANIEL ABIBI (Congo) said he supported the statement by Tunisia on behalf of the African group. The Congo backed the efforts of the Burundians, with the support of the international community, towards national reconciliation. In the Brazzaville Declaration adopted a few months ago concern had been expressed over the violence at the centre of the continent which resulted in increasing flows of refugees and undermined economic development.

The Convention of Government remained the legitimate basis for national reconciliation in Burundi. Congo welcomed the Secretary-General's efforts and those of others, including the OAU and President Nyerere.

ISSAC E. AYEWAH (Nigeria) said his country, having served in the Council for the past two years, during which its delegation served on two Security Council missions to Burundi, fully shared the concerns and frustrations contained in the Secretary-General's report. More importantly, it could not but advert to the overarching need to do something promptly and in a preventive manner to stop Burundi from slipping further into violence and bloodshed. While there had been general concern in the international community about the events in Burundi, it had not been possible to match that concern with concrete action.

His delegation agreed with the observation that any solution to the crisis in Burundi would depend on the combined political will of the parties in conflict and of the international community. Furthermore, any action contemplated in that regard should have the support of the people of Burundi, if it was to succeed. Nevertheless, Member States should not allow the international community to be held hostage to the veto of any one group in Burundi. The majority of the people there desired peace and were prepared to

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live with one another. It was high time something concrete was done by the international community to strengthen the hands of all the moderate forces in Burundi. Already the increased attention being paid by the international community had somewhat stabilized the situation in recent weeks, and that should be built upon.

He said assistance to Burundi should be multi-dimensional, socio- economic, technical, and diplomatic and should also involve efforts at national, subregional and international levels all working in tandem. The efforts of the Government of Burundi to promote dialogue was very crucial. The improved coordination and cooperation between the President and Prime Minister was a good development in that direction. Closely related to that was the proposal to hold a regional conference for peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. The enormous sacrifice of the OAU to help arrest the situation in Burundi should be strengthened by financial and logistic assistance from members of the international community.

He called on the Security Council to give serious consideration to steps that should be taken in a preventive manner to supplement and strengthen the various initiatives and diplomatic efforts. He further called on the donor countries to help address the socio-economic difficulties of the people of Burundi. He cautioned that any efforts or preparations for possible humanitarian intervention should respect the sovereignty of Burundi and the expressed wishes of the Government.

The draft resolution was unanimously adopted as resolution 1049 (1996).

Mr. TERENCE (Burundi), speaking after the adoption of the text, expressed "sincere thanks" to the Council for the important development in the search for peace in his country. He said some provisions of the resolution deserved praise, such as the proposal to establish a radio station in the country. He said it would have an extraordinary impact on Burundi society. it was an innovation which deserved the gratitude of his Government and people. He hoped the proposal would not remain a dead letter. He said a resolution of that type was far more productive than others.

He paid tribute to the central role Botswana had been playing in the Council. He hoped the various actors in Burundi would ultimately achieve the goal of dialogue and national reconciliation.

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For information media. Not an official record.