The United Nations Security Council is supporting an African Union, or AU, decision to investigate human rights abuses in Burundi. The 15-member council said in a unanimous statement, issued on October 28, that it was deeply concerned by the continued rise in violence in Burundi following the re-election of leader Pierre Nkurunziza.
The United States welcomes the United Nations Security Council’s Presidential Statement on Burundi and the Council’s continued attention to this crisis.
Like the AU’s communiqué of October 17, the Security Council statement put particular stress on the urgency of convening an inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue, among the government and peaceful stakeholders within and outside the country. As such, the Security Council reemphasized the importance of the mediation efforts led by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on behalf of the East African Community , or EAC, and as endorsed by the AU.
“The United States stresses the Security Council's call for any dialogue to be inclusive and represent the voices of the citizens of Burundi,” said U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby.
He said the U.S. also welcomes the Security Council’s strong condemnation of all violations and abuses of human rights and acts of unlawful violence committed in Burundi, both by security forces as well as by militias and other illegal armed groups, and its expressed determination to seek accountability for the perpetrators of such acts.
Mr. Kirby noted that the U.S. is “encouraged by the leadership of the United Nations in addressing the ongoing crisis in Burundi, particularly through Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s public offer in his October 27 statement of ‘any support necessary to advance the implementation of the measures agreed upon by the members of the AU Peace and Security Council.’”
The United States stands ready to support the AU, the EAC and its designated mediator, President Museveni, and the citizens of Burundi to urgently conduct such a regionally-mediated dialogue outside of Burundi, which represents the best path forward to resolving the insecurity which has plagued the country since President Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third-term in contravention of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.