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Burundi: Security Council encourages efforts towards ceasefire

Burundi: Security Council encourages efforts towards ceasefire

Encouraging efforts to help bring about a ceasefire in Burundi, Security Council members today urged armed groups in the country to cooperate with those intervening to stop the fighting.

The current President of the Council, Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe of Syria, said in a press statement that the body's 15 members encouraged "the Facilitation, Tanzania and the region to continue efforts aimed at helping the belligerents in Burundi reach a ceasefire agreement."

They also urged the armed groups to cooperate with regional efforts by engaging in serious negotiations leading to a cessation of hostilities, he added.

Council members expressed their appreciation to South Africa for providing the protection unit for exiled leaders returning to Burundi to take part in the transitional government, Ambassador Wehbe said.

The statement also reminded parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law, and called for an immediate end to all attacks against civilians. The belligerents were urged to observe "days of tranquillity" to allow humanitarian agencies to carry out activities in the field.

Council members encouraged the Government to pursue constructive dialogue within the transitional institutions and with civil society, according to the statement, which also urged the donor community to provide immediate economic and development assistance to Burundi.