Burundi: Secretary-General welcomes arrival of rebel group for peace talks

Burundi: Secretary-General welcomes arrival of rebel group for peace talks

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed today’s arrival in Burundi’s capital of a delegation from the Palipehutu-FNL, the rebel group involved in deadly fighting with Government forces in recent weeks, for a resumption of peace talks.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban strongly urged the delegation from the Palipehutu-FNL “to engage in good faith” in the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism and Political Directorate, the latest phase of the Burundi peace process, which is being held in Bujumbura.

“The Secretary-General remains deeply concerned by the ongoing fighting and the suffering it has inflicted on the population,” the statement noted. “He calls on the Government and the Palipehutu-FNL to immediately cease military action and to take measures to build confidence in, and support, the peace process.”

Dozens of people have died over the past month in clashes in and around Bujumbura, despite a ceasefire in 2006 between the Government and the Palipehutu-FNL, the last major rebel hold-outs after the end of the brutal civil war between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority.

Mr. Ban thanked the leaders of the Regional Peace Initiative for Burundi and the South African Facilitation for their efforts to promote dialogue in the small African country.