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Annan congratulates Burundi on installing newly elected, post-transitional president

Annan congratulates Burundi on installing newly elected, post-transitional president

Today’s inauguration of newly elected President Pierre Nkurunziza as the first post-transitional head of state in Burundi after years of ethnic conflict, shows the determination of the Central African country’s people to conclude the unprecedented transitional process successfully, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.

In a message delivered by Under-Secretary-General Jean-Marie Guéhenno of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Mr. Annan said, “Today, with the investiture of the first elected president in more than a decade, the efforts of the Burundian leaders, with the support of the international community, can be considered a great accomplishment for Africa and African conflict resolution.”

Through the ballot, Burundians have placed their trust in a new President and created an historic opportunity to end the cycles of violence, promote national reconciliation and build a new, inclusive Burundi, he said.

“The United Nations is proud to be paying its part in this process,” he said.

The Security Council established the UN Operation in Burundi (UNOB) in June 24, demonstrating its full engagement in the peace process, and “today is a clear indication that the international community’s investment is paying off,” Mr. Annan said.

He also thanked transitional Presidents Pierre Buyoya and Domitien Ndayizeye for their perseverance through challenges, difficulties and delays, the African Union (AU) and Burundi’s neighbours, whose leaders contributed time and personal effort to supporting the peace process.

After more than 12 years of conflict, Burundians yearn for their country to be unified under the banner of democracy, equality, justice and development for all, he said, and the UN and the international community would remain the country’s close partners as it faced future challenges.