World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Burundi Political Infighting Could Derail Country’s Peace...

14 May 2014

Burundi political infighting could derail country’s peacebuilding efforts – UN official

The political situation in Burundi remains tense with limited political space not conducive to protection of human rights, a United Nations envoy today told the Security Council today, warning that as the country approaches elections in 2015, there is a possibility of violence.

“In the approach of the election period, there is a propensity to political violence and confrontation between youths affiliated with political parties, reflecting the deleterious political climate,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, told the 15-member Council.

“To prevent exacerbation, we particularly recommended that the authorities intensify efforts to promote better political governance through dialogue and tolerance, while putting an end to impunity,” he continued, adding that it is also an urgent need to reduce the illicit flow of weapons into the small Central African country.

Mistrust that divides the Burundian political class is still manifesting itself in the negotiations and the adoption of the law in April that established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said Mr. Onanga-Anyanga.

The law aims to investigate events in the largely inter-ethnic fighting between Hutus and Tutsis that erupted even before Burundi gained independence from Belgium in 1962.

“It is unfortunate that the passage of this important legislation to implement mechanisms of transitional justice has not [led to] overcoming the partisan divide,” he said, warning that the commission’s credibility and long-term prospects for reconciliation hang in the balance.

Burundi has been considered a UN peacebuilding success story. It was among the first, along with Sierra Leone, to be put on the agenda of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) when it was set up in 2006, to ensure that countries once ravaged by war do not relapse into bloodshed.

The UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) was set up in 2006 following a ceasefire between the Government and the last remaining rebel force to support peace consolidation, democratic governance, disarmament and reform of the security sector. Last month, the Council agreed that BNUB would wrap up at the end of this year, and transition to a UN country team (UNCT).

“In many ways, this is an historic moment, as it marks the beginning of the end of a stand-alone UN political presence in Burundi, in order to focus on development activities through a strengthened UNCT,” Mr. Onanga-Anyanga said, lauding the completion of a Joint Transition Plan presented today to the Council.

He said he also remains optimistic that despite the “disturbing facts mentioned here”, the Burundian people and Government would “overcome their differences and address, together common challenges.”

He urged calm and stressed that the country has all the assets to build a rich future “provided they finally turn back the demons of exclusion and violence.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news