United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by Madam Ban Soon‑taek, arrived in Bujumbura, Burundi, close to midday on Wednesday, 9 June, after a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa.
He first attended a working lunch with top officials from the United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), and the heads of United Nations agencies based in the country. He then held a town hall meeting with all locally-based staff of the Organization, also at BINUB headquarters.
The Secretary-General transferred next to the Palais des Congrès, Kigobe, where he addressed an audience that included Members of Parliament, Government officials, leaders of political parties, civil society, women’s and religious groups, as well as journalists and the diplomatic corps. In his remarks, he congratulated Burundians for their achievements in consolidating peace, noting that they were clearly determined to move beyond the turbulence of recent years. He said the current round of elections was one example of that. (See Press Release SG/SM/12948)
The Secretary-General then visited the Fourth Burundian African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Battalion at Gakumbu Camp, outside Bujumbura, to recognize Burundi’s important contribution to that Mission in Somalia, and to pay tribute to those who lost their lives there. (See Press Release SG/SM/12949)
He met members of the diplomatic corps at BINUB headquarters before meeting President Pierre Nkurunziza at the President’s Office. They later spoke to the media, and the Secretary-General emphasized the progress Burundi had made, calling for credible and inclusive elections. He said: “My message in a nutshell is that there may be some difference of opinion and that may be natural in any democratic society. So this kind of difference of opinions should be harmoniously resolved through a political dialogue, among the parties concerned.”
The Secretary-General attended a dinner hosted by the President before departing for Yaoundé, Cameroon, by plane.