Burundi: Security Council urges rebels enter ceasefire negotiations

Burundi: Security Council urges rebels enter ceasefire negotiations

Amb. Greenstock speaking to the press
Voicing "firm support" for Burundi's Transitional National Government, members of the United Nations Security Council today appealed to rebels fighting in the country to enter into ceasefire negotiations.

In a statement to the press following closed-door consultations, the Council President, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, said the members also expressed continuing support for "the whole Arusha process" which led to the accord on Burundi, and underlined their "stern warning against any attempts by others to undermine the present coalition."

Looking forward to the high-level meeting arranged for mid-July in the region, Council members stressed the importance of early progress towards a ceasefire, the President added.

Voicing "strong concern" about the current humanitarian situation and the risks for returning refugees, Council members also expressed hoped that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) could soon resume full-scale efforts for Burundi.

"I talked to High Commissioner [Ruud] Lubbers about that this morning, and he is interested in making progress there but concerned about the security of UNHCR staff in Burundi," Ambassador Greenstock said.

On international assistance to Burundi, Council members appealed to donors to "deliver on their funding promises" and urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to move quickly to provide post-conflict assistance to the country.

Council members also expressed appreciation to the South African unit in Bujumbura "for their excellent work so far on security," and for the contributions of Tanzania, Gabon and South Africa, with other regional States, to facilitate the negotiations, the President said.

During their consultations on Burundi, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, briefed Council members on the latest developments.