The Security Council today welcomed the recent agreement by Government forces and rebels in Burundi to try to dismantle any roadblocks to the revised ceasefire agreement they signed in June.
In a statement to the press, Ambassador Jan Grauls of Belgium, which holds the Council presidency this month, called on the Government and the Palipehutu-FNL rebel group “to demonstrate flexibility in overcoming the obstacles” to the accord, known as the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.
They also encouraged the rebels to work with the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism to ensure the rapid disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of their former fighters.
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, first signed the agreement in 2006, but then revised it earlier this year after a fresh outbreak of deadly fighting.
“The members of the Security Council stress that the successful implementation of the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement constitutes a critical step that will help Burundi’s partners accelerate their support for peacebuilding and development in Burundi,” Mr. Grauls said.
In the statement the Council President also encouraged the Peacebuilding Commission to continue its assistance to the Government “in laying the foundations for long-term development in Burundi and in mobilizing the resources needed to consolidate peace and security, including for the coming elections [scheduled for 2010].”
A representative of the chairperson of the Peacebuilding Commission group on Burundi – headed by Sweden – and the permanent representative of Burundi addressed the Security Council separately in an open meeting this morning.
The Security Council later moved into consultations with a briefing by the Executive Representative of the Secretary General for Burundi, Youssef Mahmoud.