Security Council encourages political parties in Burundi to work together
Council members called on the Government and the parties to ensure that the necessary conditions, including security protection, were put in place as soon as possible to help ease the return of exiled political leaders, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia, the current Council President, said in a press statement at UN Headquarters in New York.
The members of the Council urged the Forces for National Liberation (FNL) and the Forces for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) to enter into negotiations for a cessation of hostilities without further delay.
They also called on Burundi's neighbours "to use their collective and individual influence to help the parties advance positively in the peace process."
Furthermore, Council members remained "deeply concerned" at the country's humanitarian situation and urged all parties "to respect human rights and international humanitarian law as well as to facilitate access by humanitarian personnel to populations in need," Ambassador Valdivieso said.
Earlier Friday, the Council met behind closed doors for a briefing on the latest developments in Burundi by UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Danilo Türk. According to a UN spokesman, Mr. Türk said that despite the fourth meeting of the Implementation Monitoring Committee for Burundi, which had ended on Monday, and the round of ceasefire talks held in South Africa under the facilitation of Deputy President Jacob Zuma, the security and humanitarian situation in the country had not improved.
Mr. Türk noted some positive developments on the political front, however, including progress in the work of the Implementation Monitoring Committee and cooperation from most of the parties. At the same time, over the past two months, "close to 30,000 people have been displaced in Bujumbura-rural," the spokesman said.