The situation in Burundi Letter dated 22 July 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/591)
|(The Presidency changes each month to the next member in alphabetical order)|
|Mr. He Yafei
|Mr. Martínez Blanco
Republic of Korea
|Sir John Weston
Expression of sympathy in connection with the loss of flight TWA 800
At the outset of the meeting, I should like, on behalf of the Security Council, to express deep sympathy to the Government and people of the United States and to the Governments and peoples of the other countries whose citizens lost their lives as a result of the air disaster concerning flight TWA 800.
Adoption of the agenda
The situation in Burundi
Letter dated 22 July 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/591)
I should like to inform the Council that I have received a letter from the representative of Burundi in which he requests to be invited to participate in the discussion of the item on the Council’s agenda. In conformity with the usual practice, I propose, with the consent of the Council, to invite that representative to participate in the discussion, without the right to vote, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and rule 37 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them document S/1996/591, which contains the text of a letter dated 22 July 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council.
Following consultations among members of the Security Council, I have been authorized to make the following statement on behalf of the Council:
“The Security Council is gravely concerned at recent information on political developments in Burundi. It strongly condemns any attempt to overthrow the present legitimate Government by force or coup d’état.
“The Security Council takes note of the letter dated 22 July 1996 from the Secretary-General to the President of the Council (S/1996/591). The Council condemns the massacres of civilians including that of more than 300 women, children and elderly men in Bugendana commune in Gitega province. The Council calls upon all parties to the conflict in Burundi to cease immediately any acts of violence and to cooperate fully with all those who are seeking to bring an end to the vicious cycle of violence. The Council urges all parties to exercise restraint and requests the Burundi authorities to conduct a proper investigation of the massacre.
“The Security Council once again urges the authorities and all parties concerned in Burundi to set aside their differences, renounce the use of force and demonstrate a firm political will for the prompt settlement of the conflict.
“The Security Council deplores the recent forced repatriation of Rwandan refugees from refugee camps in Kibezi and Ruvumu and calls upon the Government of Burundi to honour its obligations under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, and to desist from further refoulement of refugees. The Council is also concerned at reports of Rwandan cooperation in the forced repatriation process.
“The Security Council supports the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and urges all parties to work with UNHCR to ensure that the rights of refugees are respected. The Council calls upon the international community to respond favourably to the recent appeal to fund their activities in the region.
“The Security Council stresses its full support for the efforts of former President Nyerere including the agreements of the Arusha Regional Summit of 25 June 1996 (S/1996/557), and welcomes the full support of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) for these agreements. The Council supports also the acceptance by the Arusha Regional Summit of the request by the Government of Burundi for security assistance in order to complement and reinforce the Mwanza peace talks as well as for creating conducive security conditions for all parties to participate freely in the Mwanza process. The Council encourages all parties to work in a constructive manner with former President Nyerere. It urges the Government of Burundi to grant permission to the International Technical Committee, established at the Arusha Summit, to enter the country in order to work out the logistics of the regional peace plan.
“The Security Council emphasizes the importance of the continued cooperation of the United Nations with the OAU, the European Union, the United States, and other interested countries and organizations in coordination with former President Nyerere, aimed at achieving a comprehensive political dialogue between the parties in Burundi. In this regard, the Council expresses its support for the efforts of the OAU and its observer mission (MIOB) and welcomes the extension of the mandate of MIOB.
“The Security Council reiterates the importance it attaches to the contingency planning called for in paragraph 13 of resolution 1049 (1996), and notes the consultations which have already taken place. In the light of recent developments, it requests the Secretary-General and Member States concerned to continue to facilitate contingency planning for a rapid humanitarian response in the event of widespread violence or a serious deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Burundi.
“The Security Council reminds all Burundian parties of their responsibilities for restoring peace and stability in Burundi, and underlines its commitment to follow events in Burundi closely and recalls its readiness, as set out in resolution 1040 (1996), to consider the adoption of further measures should the parties fail to demonstrate the necessary political will for a peaceful solution to the crisis. The Council will remain seized of the matter.”
This statement will be issued as a document of the Security Council under the symbol S/PRST/1996/31.
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on the agenda.