Burundi: gov’t, opposition welcome UNSC resolution

Burundi police and military battling protestors against President Nkurunziza's controversial third term bid

Burundi police and military battling protestors against President Nkurunziza’s controversial third term bid this July

The Burundian government has welcomed Thursday’s United Nations Security Council resolution calling for inclusive dialogue to resolve the current crisis in the country.

In a press statement issued this Friday, Philippe Nzobonariba, government Secretary and spokesman, said the content of the resolution is in line with the government’s determination to resolve the crisis, including the promotion of the dialogue.

Nzobonariba reiterated the government will spare no effort in safeguarding peace and security.
“We’d like to invite all Burundians, both inside and outside, to fully participate and contribute to the inter-Burundian dialogue already launched to address all the issues haunting the country”, he said.

The ruling party CNDD-FDD also says Thursday’s resolution can be the right path to addressing the current crisis.

“The Burundian people have waited with great anticipation for the time to see the results. We sincerely thank the UN Security Council and its perseverance to find appropriate responses to the Burundi crisis, meeting the concerns of the CNDD-FDD and the State,” declared Daniel-Gelase Ndabirabe, the party’s spokesman, in his statement.

Burundi’s positive response to the UN resolution comes 24 hours after the Security Council urged for the immediate resumption of inter-Burundian dialogue bringing together all players, and appealed to the government in Burundi to protect human rights.

The government in Bujumbura says the UN resolution indicates the global body understands and respects Burundians to responsibly summon the courage adress their own problems.

The authorities in Burundi have also lauded the resolution saying it upholds the sovereignty, independence and national unity of Burundi.

The government however, is insisting it will sit down with all stakeholders in the conflict but the newly formed opposition in the diaspora; the National Council for the Respect of the Arusha Agreement, the Constitution and the Rule of Law (CNARED).

CNARED is mostly comprised of former government officials who fell out with President Pierre Nkurunziza over the third term. They have threatened to use force if the government continues to shut them out from talks.
Speaking to the BBC, Pancrace Cimpaye, deputy spokesman of CNARED, said the government of Burundi does not understand the content of the resolution, which is centered on dialogue between the government and the opposition including CNARED members.

“If they fail to sit with us, we will ask the international community to reinforce sanctions against the CNDD-FDD Government,” Mr. Cimpaye said.
Some opposition members are accusing the government of spinning their UN resolution in their own favour.

“Why are they not saying anything about the provision warning the government to respect human rights? I did not hear them say anything about the UN holding them accountable when and if they commit human rights violation,” a top official in Hope for Burundians opposition coalition told Afrika Reporter on condition of anonymity.

The opposition has joined the government in lauding the UN resolution but expressed disappointment the Security Council didn’t decide to send peacekeeping troops to Burundi, and that it was lenient on sanctions against perpetrators of violence especially on the government side.

“We deplore, however, that they didn’t decide to deploy peace enforcement forces in the near future,” Charles Nditije of opposition party UPRONA told Reuters.