- On 29 July 2016 the United Nations Security Council adopted without consensus, the Resolution 2303 authorizing the deployment of 228 UN police troops in Burundi, based on a proposal made by France.
- The Government of Burundi is surprised by the precipitation move taken by the Security Council to adopt a resolution highly serious in terms of consequence inasmuch as it constitutes a precedent for other countries as long as Burundi mainly concerned with the resolution was not consulted in accordance with UN traditional practice. Moreover, some members of the Security Council including a permanent member raised forthwith this irregularity.
- However, the position of Burundi on the matter has been timely communicated through the usual diplomatic channels, but it was oddly not taken into account in the final document of France, the country that submitted the proposal.
- Regarding the deployment of this police force, the Government of Burundi eminds the Security Council that in accordance with the principle, any resolution adopted under Chapter 6 of the UN Charter must always have the consent of the country concerned, which was unfortunately not the case.
- Consequently the Government of Burundi rejects any provision of the resolution related to sending any force on its territory, in violation of basic rules governing the UN family and particularly violating the sovereignty of its territory.
- If it is true that initially, six months ago, the Government of Burundi had agreed to the deployment of a team of some 20 to 50 unarmed police officers to build the capacity of the Burundian police in terms of fighting against terrorism, now this assumption has no room for consideration given that the defense and security forces fully control the situation within the whole national territory.
However, the 200 military experts and observers that the Government of Burundi has agreed with the African Union are welcome; pending the finalization of the memorandum of understanding for their deployment.
- And should be any need of another external force, the Government of Burundi calls on the UN Security Council to deploy it in Rwanda, in recruitment and training sites aimed at disrupting security in Burundi. Existing reports available on the shelves of the United Nations Security Council clearly specify their location and their subversive activities.
- However, the Government of Burundi reiterates its full readiness to cooperate with the UN in all matters relating to peace, security, human rights and development, but in strict compliance with the sacrosanct principle of sovereignty enshrined in the UN Charter.
- Regarding compliance and guarantees of human rights, the Government reiterates that its cooperation with the UN High Commission of Human Rights is obvious, evidenced by the various UN missions of experts in the matter in Burundi and the establishment of the internal mechanisms by the Government including the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (CNDIH) currently at work in close cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Burundi.
- Regarding the Inter-Burundian Dialogue, the Government welcomes the significant progress at both domestic and external components. The Government appreciates and supports the work of the facilitation led by H.E Benjamin William Mkapa established by the East African Community member States and considers that no external interference in its work should be tolerated as it may compromise its mission and undermine the mandate the facilitation was assigned by the EAC countries.
- Still on the deployment of a UN police, it should be recalled that this is not the first attempt to arbitrarily impose a foreign force in Burundi. One should recall as a matter of fact that on December 17, 2015, a few days after the attack by terrorists against three military installations in the capital city, Bujumbura and another military barrack not far away from the capital city on December 11, 2015, the Commission of the African Union had proposed, bowing under the pressure of some European Union countries including Belgium, the sending a- 5,000- foreign force, the “MAPROBU” in French acronyms, supposedly to protect Burundians, without consulting the Government or visiting the country to realize the need for such an initiative.
- Faced with this threat, the people of Burundi stood up as one man to decry a humiliating proposal for a sovereign country. The population did not hide either its determination to defend its hard-won independence of their country, and fortunately, the Summit of Heads of State of the African Union rejected this proposal.
For its part, the Government of Burundi had been clear in its press release of 18 January 2016 in the section 2 of paragraph 8, that the people of Burundi did not find neither the opportunity nor the need and even less the interest in the arrival on its soil of a UNAMIR like foreign force or the Operation Turquoise initiated by France in Rwanda in 1994 and whose efficacy has not been at all beneficial to the Rwandan population. The whole world knows the dramatic consequences resulting into the genocide that took place during this operation as untimely as inappropriate.
- This makes it morally unacceptable that France seeks to export the experience of the Rwandan genocide to Burundi when neither the record of its probable responsibility in this tragedy is yet emptied nor the litigation with Rwanda closed. It is therefore out of the question that Burundi agrees to pay the costs of reconciliation between the two countries through the sacrifice of its people. For its part, the people of Burundi, constantly bearing in mind the painful experience of the past will never allow genocide to take place on its territory.
- By suggesting the deployment of a UN Police Burundi, France that takes on from Belgium, the first to come up with the idea but that begins to fade because of its embarrassing colonial spell in Burundi, seems to ignore the very satisfactory progress over the security in the country, had not been sporadic incursion of terrorists from refugee camps in Rwanda where they receive military training in order to attack Burundi.
- The deployment of such a force would have other aims as it happened in Rwanda in 1994, not only it could divide the people of Burundi, but also it could undermine the cohesion of its defence and security forces, a legacy of the Arusha Agreement for peace and reconciliation as well as other ceasefire agreements between Burundians. The Government of Burundi recalls the international community and particularly the UN Security Council that it is thanks to this cohesion that so far all attempts to destabilize the democratically elected institutions have always failed, and that the deployment of a foreign force is only intended to prepare the rear base of the terrorists currently routed.
- Furthermore, the unilaterally adoption of the resolution to deploy UN police officers in Burundi only encourages terrorist groups. Indeed, we cannot say it was a coincidence that after the announcement of the adoption of the resolution, the security forces have arrested, in RUMONGE, a group of about fifty armed terrorists wearing military and police uniforms. Many of them are high school pupils and have confessed being back from military training camp in Rwanda in order to attack and disrupt peace in Burundi.
- This achievement adds up to many other actions of the Burundi defence and security forces in to disarm civilians, resulting in restoring security countrywide, including in insurgency areas of Bujumbura where life is now back to normal. It should be emphasized that keeping the situation under control is the result of the commendable work of the defence and security forces without any help whatsoever from a foreign force.
- Regarding the destabilizing action of Rwanda over the security situation in Burundi, the Government has always displayed before diplomats accredited in Bujumbura, the national and international public opinion, the evidence wherever groups of criminals from this country were captured by the Burundian security forces. And France with a very active diplomatic representation in Bujumbura must be aware of the situation without doubt as its embassy regularly submits reports to their government. Moreover, the UN was requested to consider the destabilizing action of Rwanda towards Burundi and the opinion is wondering why the proposal of deploying UN police officers was not directed to Rwanda, to monitor recruitment and training spots for terrorists who disrupt security in Burundi.
- The Government of Burundi would like to take this opportunity to remind the Security Council that over a period of 33 years (1962-1995), a period characterized by genocidal violence with more than half a million of victims, there were only two (2) Resolutions of the United Nations on Burundi: (Resolution 173 of 26 July 1962 and the Resolution 1012 in 1995, the former recognized Burundi as a UN member state and the latter requested to shed light on the violence following the assassination of the first ever democratically elected President in the history of Burundi, Melchior NDADAYE.
From 2005 to 2016, since the time when Burundi is led by democratically elected institutions, 16 Resolutions including 3 for the sole period of 2015-2016 were adopted by the UN Security Council on Burundi.
Burundians are still wondering about the causes of silence from the United Nations, which covered the first period and the excessive activism observed during the current period.
- The Government of Burundi therefore appeals to the Secretary General of the United Nations to address personally the reasons behind some states, particularly France and Belgium constantly striving against Burundi among other countries of United Nations Family. The Government of Burundi is convinced that this sudden mobilization of countries involved deeply in the horrors that happened in the past because of their historical relations, are seeking to block the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which is currently in a crucial phase of collecting depositions of testimonies of victims of tragedies involved in the periods above mentioned.
- Finally, the Government urges the people of Burundi and particularly the defence and security forces to remain vigilant, united and soldered to this new threat to the Unity and Independence of Burundi achieved at a cost. The population should not be distracted, but instead continue to go about their daily routines to achieve sustainable development and fight against poverty, their real enemy.
Done at Bujumbura, 02 August 2016
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-