Tension As UN Moves to Close Burundi Office

Burundian President has reportedly been overthrown by his Intelligence chief

viagra dosage geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York and also the Chair of the Burundi Configuration of the UN Peace building Commission, Amb. Paul R. Seger on Friday afternoon met and held talks with the Secretary General of the East African community, Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera on Burundi peace, security, stabilization, and development process at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

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The UN envoy noted that there was growing anxiety as the Burundi heads for elections mid next year.

The warning comes against the background of reports that the Hutu-dominated Burundi government is secretly arming an extremist militia with weapons such as AK-47 assault rifles and pistols in stronghold areas of the opposition UPRONA party.

Chimpreports recently broke news of a UN cable leaked to the U. S Envoy to United Nations, Samantha Power, reading, “there was distribution of weapons and military outfits to the youth affiliated to the ruling CNDD-FDD (Imbonerakure) party and the demobilised ex-AIMP Rumonge.”

A UN official in Bujumbura said in the “confidential” memo to his bosses in New York on April 3, 2014 that “a meeting was held in a hotel known as Kukanyamuneza belonging to a ‘Brigadier General’ in Nduwumunsi in Rumonge” to draw a plan on doling out the weapons.

He further observed that a night training for the handling of these weapons was held near the Central Prison of Rumonge (Kumurembwe) and that the surrounding population heard the gunfire.

“One can only speculate about the purpose of the distribution of weapons and uniforms in Bururi which is a traditional stronghold of the UPRONA.”

Burundi remains a fragile country after enduring three decades of a bloody conflict.

Sezibera meeting

Seger briefed Sezibera on the initiatives the UN is putting in place to guarantee sustainability of the reform programmes under the sectors it has been supporting including realignment of its UN Country office in Burundi to shoulder those assignments.

He underscored the importance of regional interventions in the Burundi peace building processes noting the need for the EAC to upscale its support to the Partner State.

Amb. Seger briefed the Secretary General on the plan to convene a 2nd Round Table on Burundi in the second half of 2014 in Bujumbura, Burundi to take stock of the progress on attainment of commitments made at the earlier one held in Geneva in 2012.

Amb. Sezibera briefed the UN envoy of the EAC initiatives to ensure Burundi is fully integrated into the EAC integration framework.

He said the Community is spearheading policy reforms and harmonization across a number of sectors in the regional context including political and economic governance, infrastructure development, and social sector interventions, among others.

He expressed EAC’s commitment to support Burundi’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP-II). He welcomed the convening of the 2nd Round Table on Burundi and confirmed EAC’s readiness to effectively participate.

With regard to the upcoming elections, the Secretary General briefed the envoy on the plans to deploy an EAC Election Observation Mission to cover the pre, during and post-election periods, and observed the need for inclusive and participatory processes and called for UN’s multi-dimensional support to realize the intended objectives.

It should be remembered that UPRONA recently pulled out of the coalition government following attempts to manipulate Parliament to amend the Constitution with the view of securing to seek a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Interestingly, after Parliament refused to scrap the constitutional two-term presidential limit, the Interior Minister Edouard Nduwimana said Nkurunziza will still stand for a third term in 2015, stoking tensions in the volatile nation.

The UN official in Burundi, Onanga-Anyanga told the Security Council recently that to prevent exacerbation in the country, “we particularly recommended that the authorities intensify efforts to promote better political governance through dialogue and tolerance, while putting an end to impunity,” adding that it is also an urgent need to reduce the illicit flow of weapons into the small Central African country.


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