The Security Council today strongly condemned increasing killings, torture and other human rights violations in Burundi, and stated its intention to consider “additional measures” against all actors whose actions and statements impeded the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the East African nation.
Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2248 (2015), the Council called on the Government and all parties to reject violence, demanding that all sides refrain from any action that threatened peace and stability.
Condemning public statements from in or outside the country that appeared aimed at inciting hatred towards different groups in Burundian society, it called on the Government to “respect, protect and guarantee” all human rights and fundamental freedoms, adhere to the rule of law, undertake transparent accountability for violence and cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
By other terms, the Council urged the Government to hold accountable all those responsible for international humanitarian law violations and human rights abuses. It recalled that Burundi, a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, was obliged to fight impunity for crimes within the Court’s jurisdiction. The Court was complementary to national criminal jurisdictions.
Further, it urged the Government to cooperate with East African Community-led, African Union-endorsed mediation to immediately convene an inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue with all peaceful stakeholders, both in and outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution.
In that context, it expressed full support to mediation by Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda, on behalf of the Community, and invited the Secretary-General to deploy a team that would, in coordination with the Government, African Union and other partners, develop options for addressing political and security concerns. The Secretary-General was also requested to present in 15 days options on the United Nations’ future presence in the country.
The meeting began at 12:18 p.m. and ended at 12:20 p.m.
The full text of resolution 2248 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling the statements of its President on Burundi, in particular the statements of 18 February 2015 (2015/6), of 26 June 2015 (2015/13) and of 28 October 2015 (2015/18),
“Expressing its deep concern about the ongoing escalation of insecurity and the continued rise in violence in Burundi, as well as the persisting political impasse in the country, marked by a lack of dialogue among Burundian stakeholders,
“Stressing that the situation prevailing in Burundi has the potential to seriously undermine the significant gains achieved through the Arusha Agreement, with devastating consequences for Burundi and the region as a whole,
“Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of Burundi for ensuring security in its territory and protecting its population with respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law, as applicable,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Burundi,
“Strongly condemning the increased cases of human rights violations and abuses, including those involving extra-judicial killings, acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and/or degrading treatment, arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders and journalists, and all violations and abuses of human rights committed in Burundi both by security forces and by militias and other illegal armed groups,
“Underscoring its deep concerns on the prevalence of impunity, on the daily assassinations, on the restrictions on enjoyment of the freedom of expression, including for members of the press, and on the continued worsening of the humanitarian situation, marked by the more than 200 000 Burundian citizens seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, and commending the host countries for their efforts,
“Strongly condemning all public statements, coming from in or outside of the country, that appear aimed at inciting violence or hatred towards different groups in Burundian society,
“Urging the Government of Burundi to bring to justice and hold accountable all those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations and abuses of human rights, as applicable,
“Recognizing the role and efforts of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assess and report on the situation of human rights in Burundi,
“Recalling that Burundi is a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and has undertaken obligations to fight impunity for crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court, and emphasizing that the International Criminal Court is complementary to national criminal jurisdictions,
“Stressing the utmost importance of respecting the letter and the spirit of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of 28 August 2000 which has helped to sustain a decade of peace in Burundi,
“Reiterating its conviction that only a genuine and inclusive dialogue, based on respect for the Constitution and Arusha Agreement, would best enable the Burundian stakeholders to find a consensual solution to the crisis facing their country, preserve peace and consolidate democracy and the rule of law,
“Stressing the urgency of convening an inter-Burundian dialogue in coordination with the Government of Burundi and all concerned and peaceful stakeholders, both who are in Burundi and those outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis, and taking note of the establishment of the National Commission for the inter-Burundian dialogue,
“Calling for the reinforcement of the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the East African Community (EAC) and as endorsed by the African Union, welcoming the visit recently undertaken by the representative of the Mediator in Bujumbura for consultations with the Government of Burundi and other stakeholders, and underlining the need to expedite the preparatory process of the dialogue, including the convening of a pre-dialogue consultation involving all relevant international facilitators, under the leadership of the Mediator, to ensure an adequate preparation of the inter-Burundian dialogue and its success,
“Urging the Government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to extend full cooperation to the Mediator,
“Welcoming the continued engagement of all concerned stakeholders, including the Burundi Configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, and encouraging the continued cooperation between the Government of Burundi and the Peacebuilding Commission,
“Welcoming the statement of the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) on 17 October 2015, and the proposed next steps adopted on that occasion, and looking forward to their full implementation,
“Welcoming the deployment of African Union human rights observers and military experts and urging the Government of Burundi and other stakeholders to provide them full cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of their mandate,
“Noting the decision of the African Union to impose targeted sanctions, including travel ban and asset freeze, against all the Burundian stakeholders whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a solution,
“1. Calls upon the Government of Burundi and all parties to reject any kind of violence and demands that all sides in Burundi refrain from any action that would threaten peace and stability in the country;
“2. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to respect, protect and guarantee all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in line with the country’s international obligations, and to adhere to the rule of law and undertake transparent accountability for acts of violence, and to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner in the fulfilment of its mandate;
“3. Urges the Government of Burundi to cooperate with the EAC-led, AU endorsed mediation to enable it to immediately convene an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue involving all concerned and peaceful stakeholders, both those who are in Burundi and those outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis;
“4. Expresses its full support to the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the East African Community (EAC) and as endorsed by the African Union, and stresses the importance of close coordination between the region and relevant international facilitators;
“5. Welcomes the decision of the Secretary-General to appoint a Special Advisor on Conflict Prevention, including in Burundi, to work with the government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders, as well as sub-regional, regional and other international partners, in support of an inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflict and in support of national efforts to build and sustain peace;
“6. Expresses its intention to consider additional measures against all Burundian actors whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a peaceful solution;
“7. Stresses the importance of the Secretary-General following closely the situation in Burundi and invites him to deploy a team in Burundi to coordinate and work with the Government of Burundi, African Union and other partners to assess the situation and develop options to address political and security concerns;
“8. Requests the Secretary-General to update the Security Council within 15 days, including by presenting options on the future presence of the United Nations in Burundi, and then regularly on the situation in Burundi, in particular on security and on violations and abuses of human rights, and incitement to violence or hatred against different groups in Burundian society;
“9. Affirms the importance of United Nations and African Union contingency planning, to enable the international community to respond to any further deterioration of the situation;
“10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”