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.
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.
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:
On the Freedom of the Press
On the Dialogue
On the Burundi-UN Cooperation
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.
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.