Free, peaceful and transparent elections in 2020 are key to a stable future in Burundi, the Security Council heard today, as members diverged on whether the country — now emerging from its 2015 political crisis — still merits a place on the organ’s agenda.
The Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Burundi is planning to return to East Africa for consultations alongside Uganda President Yoweri Museveni that will form the basis of the Secretary-General’s recommendations on the way forward in that country, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, told the Security Council today.
Helsinki, Finland, hosted the inaugural International Symposium on Youth Participation in Peace Processes today, with the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth in attendance. It aims to boost young people ’s participation in efforts to build and sustain peace, even as their contributions remain undervalued.
Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra issued two decrees related to the recently signed Global Peace Agreement between the Government and armed groups, establishing follow-up mechanisms, as well as committees in each prefecture to supervise implementation of temporary security arrangements.
Dialogue remains the only viable option for resolving the political crisis in Burundi and for holding peaceful elections in 2020, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for that country told the Security Council today, as delegates debated whether to keep the situation there on its agenda.
The United Nations peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan reports that a military court handed down lengthy sentences today after finding 10 Government soldiers guilty of violence against civilians at the Terrain Hotel in the capital, Juba, in July 2016. In a statement, the Mission notes that the trial’s outcome sends a powerful message that other would-be offenders will be prosecuted and punished.
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Karen Pierce (United Kingdom):
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says it is gravely concerned about reports of Zambia’s forced return of a Zimbabwean asylum-seeker to his home country. A senior Zimbabwean politician expressed his intention to seek asylum at the border yesterday, but Zambia reportedly handed him over to Zimbabwe authorities today despite a court order to the contrary.
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Burundi asked the Security Council today to appeal to all sides in the East African nation to participate — in good faith — in a fifth and potentially final inter‑Burundi dialogue that would build on recent developments and, hopefully, take place as soon as possible.
The Emergency Relief Coordinator today released $30 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to urgently scale up relief efforts in the Sahel, where an acute drought, combined with exceptionally high food prices and worsening insecurity, has escalated humanitarian needs.
The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process told the Security Council today that 14 May was a day of tragedy for the people of Gaza. He said that there is no justification for the killing, and there is no excuse.
The Security Council today expressed deep concern over the political situation in Burundi, the slow progress of the inter‑Burundian dialogue and the lack of engagement by the Government in that process.
Against a backdrop of political tensions and a calm but volatile security situation in Burundi, heightened attention was needed to prevent the country from reversing hard-won gains, the Secretary‑General’s Special Envoy told the Security Council today.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan said it had recalled a unit of police officers from Wau and confined them to barracks after a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual exploitation.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees warned today that a extraordinary humanitarian disaster is about to hit south-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, as the Province of Tanganyika plunges further into violence, triggering spiralling displacement and human rights abuses.
Emergency fuel for critical facilities in Gaza will become exhausted within 10 days, the acting United Nations Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory warned today. Currently, the nearly 2 million Palestinian residents there receive electricity for no more than eight hours a day.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that the number of Rohingya refugees having fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since 25 August has now reached 621,000. As of this morning, the Rohingya Refugee Crisis Response Plan has received nearly $140 million, or 32 per cent of requirements. Donors had pledged $360 million for the October response.
Despite slow progress towards inclusive dialogue in Burundi, the United Nations must continue its support for the political process there as the only way forward, the Secretary‑General’s Special Envoy to the East African country told the Security Council today.
An innovative debt-swap between the Russian Federation and Mozambique has unlocked $40 million, which will be used by World Food Programme (WFP) to provide school meals for 150,000 children in Mozambique over the next five years. The largest in WFP history, the debt-swap will free up new resources for development, as well as provide debt relief.
The Security Council, in a presidential statement today, expressed deep concern over the political situation in Burundi — including increasing numbers of refugees and reports of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings — and strongly urged the Government and all parties to immediately cease and reject such violence.
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