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Burundi ceasefire must include all armed groups, political movements – Annan

Burundi ceasefire must include all armed groups, political movements – Annan

Full implementation of the peace accord for Burundi will only be possible if a ceasefire agreement includes all the warring parties and political movements, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says in a new report released today.

“The armed groups that have so far stood aloof should negotiate and conclude speedily a ceasefire agreement and join the peace process,” the Secretary-General says in his report to the Security Council.

At the same time, he notes that the accord that was signed between the Transitional Government of Burundi and the National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy and the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People-National Liberation Forces was an important development.

The Secretary-General says that he has asked his Special Representative, Berhanu Dinka, to continue to support efforts in helping the Government and all armed groups to reach a comprehensive accord to stop the fighting, warning that any agreement that did not include all armed parties and political movements would be dangerous and “must be avoided.”

The parties must also address security sector reform in the context of the ceasefire negotiations, Mr. Annan adds. “Without reaching a common understanding on the broad parameters of such reform, serious obstacles would be encountered in the implementation of the peace agreement,” he cautions.

Once such an agreement is reached, the Secretary-General says that he intends to provide the Council with an analysis of the situation and recommendations on the future course of action, including planning for a possible expanded involvement of the United Nations in Burundi.

The Secretary-General recalls that the Arusha Agreement calls on the international community to contribute to the consolidation of peace in Burundi by assisting the country in its humanitarian, development and reconstruction efforts.

He stresses that the donor community should provide more assistance to Burundi, following on commitments made at various pledging conferences. As for funding humanitarian and development activities, the Secretary-General underscores the importance of the UN’s appeal for helping Burundi in 2003, urging donors to contribute generously to the success of that effort.