Security Council voices concern at renewed clashes in Burundi
“The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern at the recent confrontation between the Palipehutu-Forces nationales de liberation (FNL) and the national defence forces of Burundi, following attacks by the FNL in violation of the comprehensive ceasefire agreement,” Deputy Permanent Representative Karen Pierce of the United Kingdom, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council, said in a press statement.
Ms. Pierce said Council members “noted with satisfaction” that an FNL delegation had recently returned to the capital Bujumbura and that the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism had resumed its work.
“They urged the parties to seize this opportunity to definitively consolidate peace in Burundi, by engaging without reservations in dialogue to overcome their differences, and to reach rapidly a concerted, peaceful and sustainable solution to the current crisis,” she said.
They also welcomed the continued engagement of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and reiterated their support for the work of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (BINUB) to enable the country to return to peace and stability.
In recent weeks more than 100 people have been killed in and around the capital. The Palipehutu-FNL is the last major rebel hold-out after the brutal civil war between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority was officially ended by the comprehensive ceasefire agreement in 2006.
Speaking to reporters after he briefed the Council, Youssef Mahmoud, the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative in Burundi and Head of BINUB, expressed concern about “the continued political stalemate and paralysis in the National Assembly.”
He also backed efforts to encourage the remaining leadership of the FNL to return to Burundi from the Tanzanian city of Dar-es-Salaam, where they are currently based.