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Situation in Burundi remains tense: UN envoy
update:October 31,2019
Oct 31,2019-- The situation in Burundi remained tense in the past four months, said Michel Kafando, the UN secretary-general's special envoy for Burundi, on Wednesday.
"It is important to note that in many respects, the situation in Burundi remains tense. During the period under consideration (between June 14 and Oct. 15, 2019), there has been an increase in political intolerance and infringement upon civic and political freedoms," Kafando told the UN Security Council in a briefing.
The government has reacted by establishing a framework for a political dialogue, bringing together political parties, local administrators, and representatives of the security forces. This initiative should be encouraged, he said.
Kafando deplored the fact that the inter-Burundian dialogue under the auspices of the East African Community has not happened four years after its launch, "undoubtedly due to a lack of political will from various quarters and ... a lack of firm commitment from states in the sub-region."
The socio-economic situation continued to deteriorate and the humanitarian situation remains worrisome, he said.
The security situation, on the other hand, has improved across the whole territory, even though abuses or violations of human rights are still reported here and there, said Kafando.
The government must be encouraged to honor its obligations to guarantee the security of all its citizens and to bring an end to impunity, he said.
The special envoy expressed the hope that the presidential, legislative and local elections in May 2020 will be transparent. "Ill-organized or contested elections are, as we know, always sources of conflict," he said.
Kafando announced that he would leave his job as the top UN envoy in Burundi.
"While we may not have won the battle for the dialogue in Burundi, the role of the United Nations is anything but negligible. We have undoubtedly contributed to ensuring that those in power in the region have a greater awareness of the fact that stability in Burundi is a categorical imperative for global peace throughout that region," he told the Security Council.
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