Paving the way for enhanced United Nations engagement in Burundi, the Security Council this evening requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to explore with the Government and regional actors options for a police deployment “to increase UN capacity to monitor the security situation, advance the rule of law and promote respect for human rights” in the country.
Unanimously adopting a French-led resolution, the Council reiterated “its deep concern about the persistence of violence in Burundi, as well as the persisting political impasse in the country, and the attendant serious humanitarian consequences,” and requested Mr. Ban, in consultation with the Burundi Government and in coordination with the African Union (AU), to present within 15 days options for deploying a UN police component.
The Council further requested the Secretary-General to enhance the United Nations' engagement in the country through strengthening the team of the Special Adviser for conflict prevention, including in Burundi, in order to work with the Government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to support the inter-Burundian dialogue.
Burundi was thrown into crisis this past April when President Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term that he went on to win in July. To date, it has been reported that more than 400 people have been killed, more than 250,000 have fled the nation, and thousands more have been arrested and possibly subjected to human rights violations.
Urging the Government and all parties to reject any kind of violence and condemn any public statement inciting violence or hatred, the Security Council in its resolution demanded that all sides in Burundi refrain from any action that would threaten peace and stability in the country.
The Council went on to stress the urgency of convening a genuine and inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue, based on the respect of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement, in coordination with the Government and all stakeholders committed to a peaceful solution, both inside and outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis.
While the text noted a decrease in the number of killings, it nevertheless expressed the Council's concern over reports of increased disappearances and acts of torture, and underscored its deep concern for the continued worsening of the humanitarian situation. The Council also strongly condemned all violations and abuses of human rights in Burundi, “whoever perpetrates them.”
Welcoming the consent of the Burundian authorities to increase the number of human rights observers and military experts of the AU, the Council called for their full and speedy deployment in Burundi, notes that 30 human rights observers and 15 military observers have been deployed so far, and urged the Government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to provide them with full cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of their mandate.
Also by the resolution, the 15-nation Council “expressed its intention to consider measures against all actors, inside and outside Burundi, whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a peaceful solution.”