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Latest wave of rebel violence in Burundi condemned

Security Council condemns latest wave of rebel violence in Burundi

Strongly condemning a series of deadly rebel attacks in and around the Burundian capital of Bujumbura, the United Nations Security Council today expressed deep concern over the latest resumption of hostilities and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the troubled central African nation.

In a statement to the press following a closed door briefing on the situation in Burundi, current Security Council President, Ambassador Inocencio F. Arias of Spain, said the 15-nation body strongly condemned the offensive launched on Bujumbura since 7 July by Palipehutu Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL-Rwasa) rebel faction and called upon the group to immediately and unconditionally end its attacks and enter into serious negotiations with the Transitional Government without further delay.

The Council members also strongly condemned the attack on the Muyange cantonment site on 30 June and the abduction of four members of the Burundian parliament on 29 June 2003 by National Council for the Defence of Democracy-Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD-Nkurunziza) rebel faction, he said. They called upon CNDD-FDD to stop resorting to violence and to refrain from any further action undermining the peace process.

Reaffirming full support for the Arusha Peace Agreement of 2000 and for the subsequent cease-fire agreements signed in October and December 2002, the Council reiterated its call upon all the parties, especially the CNDD-FDD (Nkurunziza) and the FNL (Rwasa), and including the Transitional Government, "to engage in good faith in the search of a peaceful solution through dialogue on all outstanding issues, and urged them once more to abide by the agreements they have signed."

"Members of the Security Council urged states in the region to exert their positive influence on the Burundian rebel groups so that they cease resorting to violence and join fully the Arusha agreement peace process," Ambassador Arias said, adding that they also welcomed the proposal to convene as soon as possible a summit of the Regional Initiative to help in the resolution of outstanding issues.

The Council President also said the members reaffirmed their support for the African Mission in Burundi, and commended the progress it helped produce so far in the cantonment of rebel combatants and called on all concerned to provide, as a matter of urgency, adequate financial and logistical assistance to the Mission.

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