PRESS STATEMENT ON BURUNDI BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT
The following press statement by Security Council President Martin Belinga-Eboutou (Cameroon) was delivered on 15 October:
Council members once again condemn the Itaba massacre and encourage the Government of Burundi to continue its fact-finding efforts and to bring the perpetrators to justice, as well as to ensure respect for human rights in Burundi.
Council members welcome the signature of the ceasefire agreement between the Burundi Transitional Government and two rebel movements, on the occasion of the Dar es Salam regional summit of 7 October. They reaffirm their full support for the Arusha Agreement process and for the action by the region and by South Africa, and pay tribute to the mediation of President Bongo and Vice-President Zuma, assisted by President Mkapa.
Council members emphasise the importance for all the Burundian parties constituting the Transitional Government in Burundi of implementing fully the provisions of the Arusha Agreement. In this connection, they request the Transitional Government to begin work on the reform of the security forces, as progress is made towards the ceasefire.
Council members stand ready to study the type of contribution which the Council could make, when the time comes, to the continuation of the peace process.
Council members call on the two other rebel movements to take this opportunity finally to make peace in Burundi and immediately to resume negotiations towards a ceasefire, as requested by the heads of State of the region. They call on the rebel movements immediately to suspend hostilities and to refrain from any action that may jeopardise the return to stability in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Council members ask the heads of State of the region to continue to contribute to the settlement of the crisis in Burundi and, in this connection, welcome the visit to Burundi by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the adoption of a joint communiqué in Bujumbura. They call on these two countries speedily to conclude a normalisation and security cooperation agreement.
Council members welcome the approval by the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund of the emergency post-conflict programme for Burundi and call on all donors to mobilize in order to give the Transitional Government the support which it needs in the difficult situation it is facing, particularly in the form of budgetary assistance.