Security council urges UN chief to explore options for police deployment to Burundi

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon delivers a speech during a conference of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees aimed at securing concrete pledges from world nations to resettle Syrian refugees, on March 30, 2016 at the UN Offices in Geneva. The refugee crisis caused by Syria's war requires an "exponential" rise in global solidarity, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on March 30, 2016, as he opened a conference on securing resettlement places for those displaced. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon . / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI

UN Security Council has urged Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to liaise with governments and regional actors and explore options for police deployment to strengthen UN capacity in monitoring security situation in Burundi.

Unanimously adopting a resolution in New York late Friday, the council reiterated its concern about the persistence of violence in Burundi and persisting political impasse in the country, and the attendant serious humanitarian consequences.

The resolution which was adopted by the 15-member council, requested Ban, in consultation with the Burundi Government and in coordination with the African Union (AU), to present within 15 days, options for deploying a UN police component.

The council also requested the secretary-general to enhance United Nations’ engagement in Burundi through strengthening the team of the Special Adviser for Conflict Prevention.

This, it said, was in order to work with the government of Burundi and other concerned stakeholders to support the inter-Burundian dialogue.

It urged the Burundi Government and all parties to reject any kind of violence and condemn any public statement inciting violence or hatred.

It demanded that all sides in the country should refrain from any action that would threaten peace and stability.

The council stressed the urgency of convening a “genuine and inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue’’ based on the respect of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement, and in coordination with the Government and all stakeholders committed to a peaceful solution.

“This is in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis,’’ it explained.

It noted a decrease in the number of killings in the country, but expressed concern over reports of increased disappearances and acts of torture.

It underscored its deep concern for the worsening of the humanitarian situation and strongly condemned all violations and abuses of human rights in Burundi “whoever perpetrates them”.

The member-states welcomed the consent of Burundian authorities to increase the number of human rights observers and military experts of the AU in the country, and called for full and speedy deployment.

According to the council, there are 30 human rights observers and 15 military observers currently serving in Burundi.

It urged the Burundi authorities and stakeholders to provide the observers and military team with full cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of their mandate.

It said that it would consider measures against all actors, inside and outside Burundi, whose actions and statements contributed to the perpetuation of violence and impeded the search for a peace in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Burundi was thrown into crisis in April, 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term, which he went on to win in July, 2015.

To date, the UN has reported that no fewer than 400 people had been killed and more than 250,000 had fled the nation, and thousands more arrested and possibly subjected to human rights violations. (NAN)

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