Burundi: UN Security Council “deeply concerned”, ruling party blasts Belgium, African Union

Majority of the refugees are women and children

Majority of the refugees are women and children

The UN Security Council has expressed deep concern about the growing insecurity and the continued rise in violence in Burundi, as well as about persistent political intransigence.

The Security Council said the deteriorating situation in Burundi is worrisome particularly the targeted political killings and the humanitarian crisis.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concerns on the prevalence of impunity, on the daily assassinations, on the restrictions on enjoyment of the freedom of expression, including for members of the press, and on the continued worsening of the humanitarian situation, marked by the more than 200,000 Burundian citizens seeking refuge in neighboring countries,” the statement reads in part.

The UN body joined with the African Union Peace and security to condemn reported human rights violations in the central African country that has been devastated by political violence since April.

“The Security Council strongly condemns all violations and abuses of human rights and acts of unlawful violence committed in Burundi both by security forces and by militias and other illegal armed Security Council,” the statement adds.

The Council calls for respect of Arusha Peace Agreement and the constitution to preserve the achievements made in terms of peace and security so as to prevent Burundi and the whole region from plunging into perpetual conflict.

It has also urged all stakeholders to reject armed rebellion, and engage in dialogue, stressing the importance of the mediation efforts led by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of the East African Community and as endorsed by the African Union.

Additionally, UN has backed plans to convene inter-Burundian dialogue in coordination with the government of Burundi and all concerned stakeholders both within Burundi and outside.

Government and ruling party stance notwithstanding, the Council welcomes the decision by the AU Peace and Security Council to increase the number of AU human rights observers and military experts deployed by the African Union in the country.

Meanwhile, Burundi ruling party CNDD-FDD has lambasted the Commission for Peace and Security of the African Union for its recent statement calling for inclusive dialogue and advocating for military intervention in Burundi.

On Wednesday, the ruling CNDD-FDD denounced the Commission for the willingness to disregard the country’s sovereignty.

“It is not understandable that just a few days after the elections conducted in the calm and wisdom, which occurs nowhere in the world, the people of Burundi are still attacked once again by an African organization by ordering them to give up their sovereignty and forget the results of the 2015 elections,” Daniel-Gélase Ndabirabe, the party’s spokesman said this week.

Although the government and ruling party are supportive of the Inter-Burundi dialogue, they are vehemently opposed to holding the talks outside the country saying the idea of holding talks in the Ugandan capital, Kampala has been pushed by the Belgian government.

“The dialogue that these destructive forces want to impose on us in Kampala is nothing else than the refusal to Burundian people to exercise their legitimate right to choose their institutions freely, ” Mr. Ndabirabe said adding “the country is indeed in a decolonization struggle and the CNDD-FDD party urges the people of Burundi, to carry on with their fight against neocolonialism from Belgium and its supporters, to organize the dialogue as they want but knowing that the other party to which we’re confronted is Belgium, nothing more.”

On the proposed military intervention by the African Union, Burundi’s ruling party is of the view that the AU should instead its troops to Rwanda.

Relations between Burundi and its northern neighbour have been tense as the Bujumbura accuses Kigali of fueling instability in Burundi by supporting and training rebels.