The United Nations Security Council should “have the courage to remove Burundi from its agenda”, Foreign Minister Ezekiel Nibigira said on Saturday from the rostrum of the General Assembly.
The political and security situation, he said, is far from posing a threat to international peace and security. “The place that Burundi deserves today is not in the oval hall of the Security Council. It should be at the level of the United Nations agencies in charge of development to boost its economic recovery.”
Mr. Nibigira reminded those present that his country organized a constitutional referendum on May 17, “in calm and serenity”. He added that when the new constitution was promulgated on 7 June, the President of Burundi announced that “his second term of office will end in 2020 and he is ready to support the new President.”
The Minister pointed out that “the spirit of tolerance, honesty and openness of the political space is growing stronger in Burundi”, as shown by the return of several thousand refugees and political leaders.
As for the inter-Burundian dialogue, Mr. Nibigira added that dialogue as a means of finding peaceful solutions to disputes has become “a culture”.
More than 20 political parties have already adopted a road map for the 2020 elections, and a new national electoral commission will be set up, which will respect political, ethnic, regional and gender inclusion, explained the Minister.
The Minister pointed out that the unilateral economic sanctions were imposed by the European Union in the wake of the 2015 “election fever”, and that the situation has fundamentally changed since then.
While he reiterated his availability and cooperation with the UN to promote human rights, the Burundian Minister denounced “the dangerous tendency of some States to want to transform the Human Rights Council into a tool for political pressure and geopolitical regulation in the countries of the South.”
He recalled that the African Union called for the lifting of these “unjust and immoral sanctions” at its summit last summer.
On the security front, the situation in Burundi is calm, stable and under control, said Mr. Nibigira, a positive finding that is shared, he said, by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and the Security Council.
The Minister called for all countries sheltering those behind the coup attempt of 13 May 2015, to extradite them to Burundi, so that they will answer for their actions in court.