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Statement of Amb. Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation, Republic of Burundi at the occasion of the Security Council Open debate on “Prevention and resolution of conflicts in the Great Lakes region: maintenance of international peace and security”.

Statement of Amb. Alain Aimé Nyamitwe, Minister of External Relations and International Cooperation, Republic of Burundi at the occasion of the Security Council Open debate on “Prevention and resolution of conflicts in the Great Lakes region: maintenance of international peace and security”.

New York, March 21st, 2016

Your Excellency Mr. George Rebelo Chicoti,  Minister  of External Relations of Angola and President of the UN Security Council.

At the outset, please allow me to congratulate you and your country, Angola, for assuming the pro tempore chairmanship of the Security Council for the month of March 2016. I wish to appreciate the timely scheduling of this meeting, on the theme “Maintenance of International  Peace  and  Security:  Prevention ad Resolution of Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region”. This region has suffered at least 3 major wars over the last 25 years, leaving three to 5 million people dead, and a huge number of refugees, as a result. We have to learn from the Past.

I wish to thank the Secretary General, the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, the Secretary General’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region and the distinguished representative of the World Bank for their briefings.

Our delegation associates itself with the  statement  to  be delivered on behalf of the Non Aligned Movement.

This delegation appreciates the role of the SG’s Special Envoy, Said Djinnit, in organizing the Conference on Investment in February 2016.  Creating economic opportunities for  youths  is key to preventing conflicts.

I also wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the positive role  of  the  ICGLR  in  the  fight  against  illegal exploitation  of natural resources and in addressing regional peace and security issues.

Mr. President,

Burundi is recovering from a massive severe campaign of violent regime change. All possible, imaginable means, were used. All types of people were called upon. The sound of that campaign reverberated in places as far as this very house.

Information was manipulated, while all sorts of prophecies competed in predicting the worst that could happen to Burundi. Opposition was clearly given credence for all its allegations. At least one speaker today relayed those, right here in this meeting.

Our History does not start with the re-election of  President Pierre Nkurunziza. As a matter of fact, when one assesses the situation that our country is fixing, one cannot help but conclude that violence predates the current term of the President.

For instance, Burundi was attacked on December 30th, 2014, by a group affiliated to an Opposition political party, with a view to thwarting the 2015 electoral process and install a different political regime in Burundi.

The insurrection of April 2015 was organized by the same ring of politicians, associated with groups in the Military and Police, again with the objective of overthrowing the Government. The attempted  coup  of  May  13th,  2015,  the  subsequent  attacks  on

Burundi from neighboring Rwanda, confirmed the overall objective of regime change.

It goes without saying that information was manipulated  and some organizations formulated policies with regard to my country, based upon wrong assessment or in the absence of any assessment at all.

Groups which, in the name of the exercise of the right of assembly, have been busy killing innocent civilians over the last months, are now coming out in the open. Many are confessing their crimes, indicating who their leaders are, and which country trained them.

One is met with the horror, the shock, as mass graves are found one by one in the hotbeds of the insurrection.

Yet, not long ago, especially in the wake of the simultaneous attack against 3 strategic military barracks, the Government forces were accused, without any regard to both the right of self- defense and the aggressive nature of the assailants. Again, right here, a short while ago, the UK Minister decided to attack Burundi on this issue, without regard to this development.

Mr. President,

Burundi is NOT on the verge of precipice. Contrary to the rhetoric which we have heard in this house, the security situation is improving. The challenges of today are met with the resolve of H.E. President Pierre Nkurunziza  and  the Government to address them.

On Human rights:

  1. Our Government has made a number of goodwill gestures, in full compliance with our own laws and in respect of our A presidential decree granting pardon to 2000 prisoners was taken and their release is ongoing. That number includes youths who were arrested because of acts of violence against the State and against Civilians, over the last months.
  2. While we understand the legitimate concerns that have been raised from time to time, we wish to take this opportunity to invite our friends, near and far, to understand our peculiar As a Sovereign state, Burundi  also  has  laws,  which  need  to  be  enforced as  it befits independent states. THERE is a Country called Burundi.
  3. In view of the above, we find it difficult  to  understand some of the decisions made against our Country by some partners, who have constantly proclaimed urbi et orbi that they want peace and stability in Cutting aid to the Government does not fall in the category of decisions aimed at stabilizing the country, to the contrary.Mr. President,
  4. Our Government has offered cooperation  in  monitoring the Human rights situation on the The Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights dispatched  a team of 3 experts, who concluded their mission last week. We are finalizing the MoU with the African Union, Numbers have now been set to 200, 100 Human rights monitors and 100 military experts, part of the observers’ mandate being the monitoring of our border with Rwanda.
  5. On the mass graves: criminal acts, which, for  months, were not clarified, are no longer mysteries: we now know who killed the 3 Italian nuns 2 years ago, who killed and hurriedly buried innocent civilians in areas which were hitherto covered   by   remote-controlled   demonstrations, ….Criminals are now talking. They are  now  indicating who gave them what and which country, in particular played which role.
  6. With regard to the right of association, I wish to call for caution, as some groups claim to speak in the name of the human rights cause but are actually engaged in efforts to promote one side of the conflict, sometimes promoting ethnic hatred, with all its

On the Freedom of the Press

  1. Two radio stations, which had been shut down in the wake of the attempted coup, have been authorized to  operate once Today, 15 radio stations operate on the territory. Only 3 are still shut down, for obvious reasons of ongoing investigation.
  2. On independence: this concept cannot apply only as to the position of the media outlet vis-a-vis the A media outlet which depends totally on the donors’ generosity cannot be deemed to be  independent.  No wonder they are used against their own countries. Burundi is not the first neither the last, to suffer from the activities of such too dependent media outlets.
  3. A new Code of conduct is now applicable to all the media outlets, to improve the professionalism of the

On the Dialogue

  1. Former President Mkapa of Tanzania is already at Last Friday he has concluded his tour in the region by visiting Burundi, where he was received by our President, H.E. Pierre Nkurunziza. We will soon be informed  on what’s the way forward. It’s our view that the stability, the security of the State, and the territorial integrity should not be sacrificed at  the altar of  “inclusiveness”. Resolution 2248 of the UNSC charts the way forward.
    President Mkapa needs to be encouraged and supported. Our Government trusts in his capacity to conduct the dialogue process to new horizons.
  2. Meanwhile, the National Commission for Dialogue has opened the debate on important matters pertaining to the life of our There could be no more inclusiveness than that which brings onboard all the citizens of the country. Our Government asks for support.

Mr. President,

On the Burundi-UN Cooperation

  1. Our Government has shown openness to work with the Special Advisor to the Secretary General, Mr Benomar. There’s need to sit down and discuss the legal document which will govern in space and time the deployment of his office in Burundi.

Mr. President,

The Regional Framework for the DRC and the Region came because the Region was plagued with negative forces, counted millions of refugees, both challenges compounding the already existing fragility of the region. It was established to address both issues by devising ways of creating wealth for future generations, while fostering cooperation among concerned countries.

  1. Obviously, acts of aggression are contrary to the UN Charter and to the Framework agreement on the DRC and the Supporting negative elements that disturb peace in neighboring countries is prohibited by existing relevant instruments. Recruiting refugees for the sole purpose of destabilizing Burundi is a clear violation of International Law. The Refugee camps have to be respected in their civilian nature. I wish to thank the Secretary General for emphasizing this aspect.
  2. All the above are acts that the Republic of Rwanda has committed against The UN Group of Experts on DRC has reported the facts, joining other institutions and states, which have confirmed the facts.
  3. Those of the youths arrested in the course of  their  lost battle of Kabarore, on July 10th, 2015, have  extensively given details of their journey, from the refugee camps to the battlefield, through training camps, inside  Rwanda. The Security authorities of the DRC have also  arrested some youngsters, who, along with deserters of our army, and Rwandan nationals, were using the Eastern DRC territory to launch their attack against their country.
  4. Urgent action is Burundi has  already seized the ICGLR, which, at least twice, decided to deploy to Rwanda the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), with a fact-finding mandate. That mission is yet to be authorized by Rwanda.
  5. On the other hand our Government will soon seize International courts on this very serious
  6. The required UNSC action is without prejudice to the right of the State of Burundi to go into litigation

I wish to reiterate my country’s full commitment and support to the Great Lakes Regional Strategic Framework, 2016-17. Burundi  offers  its  full  cooperation  for  the  fulfillment  of  the Roadmap therein proposed. It is our wish that point 5 of the Roadmap  caters for    the  Burundian refugees, whose return should be facilitated. We stand ready to work together with the Office of the Secretary General in that perspective.

Finally Mr. President,

My delegation wishes to remind all our partners that selective assessment of the situation in the Region cannot help. Some talk today in 2016 as they used ot refer to African countries in the 1950s.

By all standards, it is absolutely unacceptable that some appoint themselves as judges over our countries. For sure, Burundi is No colony of any country.

As I have said earlier, our country vows cooperation, not subjugation.

All the African initiatives with a view to addressing the situation in  Burundi  should  be  respected  and  encouraged.  We  cannot accept undue interference in all those initiatives. The Facilitator is a former President who deserves respect, not injunctions on how he conducts business.

I thank you for your kind attention.

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