Secretary-General Ban deplores deadly fighting around Burundi’s capital

Secretary-General Ban deplores deadly fighting around Burundi’s capital

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced grave concern at the deadly fighting between Government forces in Burundi and the Palipehutu-FNL rebel group over the past two days in and around Bujumbura, the capital of the struggling African country.

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns this armed confrontation, which inflicts unnecessary suffering on the civilian population and jeopardizes the implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement,” his spokesperson said in a statement issued late today.

Burundi’s Government and Palipehutu-FNL (Forces Nationales de Libération), the last rebel hold-out group, signed the agreement in September 2006, and Mr. Ban warned in his most recent report on the situation that the two sides bore primary responsibility for ensuring that the accord is implemented.

The small country is attempting to rebuild, with the support of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB), after a brutal civil war between its Hutu majority and Tutsi minority.

In today’s statement the Secretary-General called for an immediate end to hostilities.

“He calls upon the Government and the Palipehutu-FNL immediately to take the steps agreed upon in the Facilitator’s Programme of Action. He urges the Parties, supported by the Regional Initiative, the Facilitation and the Political Directorate, to resume dialogue and conclude the peace process for the benefit of all the people of Burundi.”