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Security Council voices serious concern after deadly violence in Burundi

Security Council voices serious concern after deadly violence in Burundi

Amb Dumisani Kumalo briefs the press on the Security Council's work programme for April
The Security Council has condemned the recent deadly spate of violent confrontations between Burundi’s National Defence Forces and the Palipehutu-FNL rebel group in and around the capital, Bujumbura.

Council members, in a presidential statement issued yesterday, called on the two parties “to scrupulously respect” the ceasefire they reached in September 2006 and to resume dialogue to overcome any obstacles that might delay the conclusion to the peace process.

They also urged the Palipehutu-FNL (Forces Nationales de Libération) to return immediately – and without any preconditions – to the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism that was established in the wake of the ceasefire accord.

“Any attempt to jeopardize peace in Burundi through violent means is unacceptable,” according to the statement, read out by Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo of South Africa, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month.

He added that the 15-member body backed several existing regional initiatives to bring the parties together to overcome the current crisis and implement earlier commitments, and that it may consider additional measures of its own to support peace and stability.

Last Friday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a similar statement through his spokesperson on the fighting.

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