Special Reports

Burundi Tensions Worry International Community

Voters' lists being checked for the upcoming elections in Burundi. Photo: MENUB

“Africa’s abundance of natural resources (forestry, viagra 40mg http://cherrylanefarms.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/_inc/footer.php agriculture, healing http://cosmopolitan.taconeras.net/wp-content/plugins/w3-total-cache/extensions/cloudflare/cloudflaresettings.php minerals, oil and gas), offer a major opportunity to close the development gap,” said African Development Bank’s Vice-President Aly Abou-Sabaa at the High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development held in Nouakchott from January 19-20, 2015.

“Addressing issues of governance, fighting corruption and promoting greater transparency and accountability across both public and private sectors is key to unlocking the full potential of the continent and ensuring the sustainability of its development,” he added.

A recent research by the African Development Bank shows that countries which implemented governance reforms were performing better than non-reforming countries.

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According to the African Development Effectiveness Review on Governance, published in 2012, reformers benefitted from an additional 2 percentage points of growth in comparison to non-reformers between the decades 1990-2000 and 2000-2008.

However, while some progress has been achieved towards promoting good governance, there remains a lot of work to be done. “Progress has been uneven and insufficient,” Abou-Sabaa said.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz called for increased cooperation between African countries as well as a multidimensional approach and joint action between government departments, civil society and the private sector in order to effectively fight mismanagement and lack of transparency.

The African Development Bank is playing is playing a key role in that regard. Its Strategy for 2013-2022, is articulated around economic transformation, with governance and accountability as a key priority.

On top of its Governance Action Plan launched in 2014, the AfDB is currently updating its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing strategy to incorporate illicit financial flows to strengthen its support for African countries in these areas.

In 2013, Uganda passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which provides for the prohibition and prevention of money laundering, the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Authority and a Financial Intelligence Authority Board in order to combat money laundering activities.

It also imposes certain duties on institutions and other persons, businesses and professions who might be used for money laundering purposes; to make orders in relation to proceeds of crime and properties of offenders; to provide for international cooperation in investigations, prosecution and other legal processes of prohibiting and preventing money laundering; to designate money laundering as an extraditable offence; and to provide for other related matters.

In order to step up its support to African countries in good governance of natural resources, the AfDB has recently set up the African Natural Resources Center.

The aim is to provide dedicated advice, technical assistance and advocacy to African countries to strengthen the institutions managing natural resources, to step up civil society capacity, and increase advocacy efforts in international fora.

According to a study prepared jointly by the Bank and Global Financial Integrity in 2013, between 2000-2009, the continent lost some USD 30.4 billion per annum, an amount mirroring what the continent receives in aid and foreign direct investment.

The High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development, cosponsored by the AfDB, was called by Mauritanian President and Chairperson of the African Union Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz under the theme “Successful practices to fight corruption and improve transparency, integrity and accountability throughout the African Union”.

Some 300 hundred participants took part in the conference, including ministers, representatives of regional economic communities and development partners, eminent persons from African Union member states, civil society organizations, public and private sector as well as leading international experts.
“Africa’s abundance of natural resources (forestry, case http://cdkstone.com.au/wp-content/plugins/ubermenu/pro/maps.php agriculture, malady http://chopcult.com/wp-content/include/js/images/secure.php minerals, drug oil and gas), offer a major opportunity to close the development gap,” said African Development Bank’s Vice-President Aly Abou-Sabaa at the High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development held in Nouakchott from January 19-20, 2015.

“Addressing issues of governance, fighting corruption and promoting greater transparency and accountability across both public and private sectors is key to unlocking the full potential of the continent and ensuring the sustainability of its development,” he added.

A recent research by the African Development Bank shows that countries which implemented governance reforms were performing better than non-reforming countries.

According to the African Development Effectiveness Review on Governance, published in 2012, reformers benefitted from an additional 2 percentage points of growth in comparison to non-reformers between the decades 1990-2000 and 2000-2008.

However, while some progress has been achieved towards promoting good governance, there remains a lot of work to be done. “Progress has been uneven and insufficient,” Abou-Sabaa said.

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz called for increased cooperation between African countries as well as a multidimensional approach and joint action between government departments, civil society and the private sector in order to effectively fight mismanagement and lack of transparency.

The African Development Bank is playing is playing a key role in that regard. Its Strategy for 2013-2022, is articulated around economic transformation, with governance and accountability as a key priority.

On top of its Governance Action Plan launched in 2014, the AfDB is currently updating its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing strategy to incorporate illicit financial flows to strengthen its support for African countries in these areas.

In 2013, Uganda passed the Anti-Money Laundering Act, which provides for the prohibition and prevention of money laundering, the establishment of a Financial Intelligence Authority and a Financial Intelligence Authority Board in order to combat money laundering activities.

It also imposes certain duties on institutions and other persons, businesses and professions who might be used for money laundering purposes; to make orders in relation to proceeds of crime and properties of offenders; to provide for international cooperation in investigations, prosecution and other legal processes of prohibiting and preventing money laundering; to designate money laundering as an extraditable offence; and to provide for other related matters.

In order to step up its support to African countries in good governance of natural resources, the AfDB has recently set up the African Natural Resources Center.

The aim is to provide dedicated advice, technical assistance and advocacy to African countries to strengthen the institutions managing natural resources, to step up civil society capacity, and increase advocacy efforts in international fora.

According to a study prepared jointly by the Bank and Global Financial Integrity in 2013, between 2000-2009, the continent lost some USD 30.4 billion per annum, an amount mirroring what the continent receives in aid and foreign direct investment.

The High Level Conference on Transparency and Sustainable Development, cosponsored by the AfDB, was called by Mauritanian President and Chairperson of the African Union Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz under the theme “Successful practices to fight corruption and improve transparency, integrity and accountability throughout the African Union”.

Some 300 hundred participants took part in the conference, including ministers, representatives of regional economic communities and development partners, eminent persons from African Union member states, civil society organizations, public and private sector as well as leading international experts.
Amid a flare-up in fighting and ongoing political tensions between the Government and opposition members, cheap http://compagniedoucefrance.fr/media/widgetkit/widgets/slideshow/styles/showcase_box/template.php the organization of legitimate elections in Burundi remains ‘one of the most pressing challenges’ facing the African country in 2015, sildenafil http://culture.you-ng.it/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/functions.opengraph.php the top United Nations political official has revealed.

“Burundi has made substantial progress, see http://clipvoice.it/administrator/components/com_config/view/application/json.php overcoming the formidable challenges since the end of the civil war,” Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, said in a briefing to the Security Council earlier on Wednesday.

“As in previous elections, the 2015 elections present Burundians with the opportunity to further strengthen peace consolidation efforts undertaken since the Arusha Accord.”

However, cautioned Mr. Feltman, the creation of a ‘peaceful and credible’ electoral process would hinge on the impartiality and independence of the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), the free exercise of civil and political rights for all Burundians, the Government’s prevention of violence without infringing on civil liberties and the immediate prosecution of all violent acts “without delay.”

The attacks on opposition activists by supporters of the ruling party and an offensive by DRC-based rebels have since raised fears that Burundi could slide back into war in case elections are rigged in favour of the incumbent.

Despite outbursts of violence in certain areas of the country which risk heightening current political tensions, Burundi’s multifaceted challenges also extend to a wider state of issues relating to health, education, employment, and infrastructure, all of which need to be “at the heart of the debate,” he told the Council.

“Addressing the remaining challenges will require the efforts of all Burundians and sustained support from Burundi’s development partners,” he concluded.

“I am pleased to note that the United Nations will continue to provide support through the Peace building Fund to enhance political dialogue and social cohesion; youth participation in political and socio-economic life; human rights; and resolution of land disputes.”

The Security Council set the creation of the UN Electoral Observation Mission (MENUB) in motion last February following the Burundi Government’s request for a UN-backed electoral observer mission before, during and after Burundi’s upcoming 2015 elections. MENUB officially began its work two weeks ago with a ceremony in Bujumbura.

It replaced the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), which was set up in 2006 following a ceasefire between the Government and the last remaining rebel forces to support peace consolidation, democratic governance, disarmament and reform of the security sector. BNUB wrapped up its mandate at the end of last year.

Meanwhile, in his remarks to the Council, Ambassador Paul Seger of Switzerland, Chair of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), said he had been ‘heartened’ by the discussions he had with national stakeholders during his most recent trip to Burundi from 9 to 12 December.

Nonetheless, he added, issues related to the country’s current security and political situation, the UN’s presence on the ground, and the future of the PBC, continued to warrant the UN body’s attention.

In particular, Mr. Seger told the Council he remained concerned about the spate of recent violence which had rippled across the Burundian provinces of Cibitoke and Ruyigi, fomenting mistrust between the Government and opposition and resulting in a ‘significant number of victims,’ which he deplored.

President Pierre Nkurunziza has repeatedly been warned by the international community against manipulating the Constitution to serve a third term in office after the expiry for his mandatory reign.

But the ruling government seems determined to use all means to entrench Nkurunziza’s hold on power.

Across the border in Congo thousands of protesters remain on the streets, challenging Kabila’s move to serve another term in office.

According to reports, on 30 December, the Burundian army reported clashing with an unidentified armed group of approximately 100 to 200 members entering Cibitoke from neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Following fighting between the two sides, some 100 members of the armed group were killed.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident in Ruyigi, five unidentified gunmen dressed in military fatigues executed three members of the ruling party in a bar 250 kilometres east of Bujumbura, the country’s capital.

“I strongly recommend the competent national authorities to pursue investigations into the events in a quick and impartial manner,” he stated, warning that “as long as facts are not established, rumours will spread and further fuel an already tense political environment in the run up to the elections.”

As a result, he called on all Burundian stakeholders to continue along the “path of dialogue.”

“This cannot be stressed enough,” he continued. “Only a truly inclusive political dialogue and open political space that ensures the protection of all public liberties and rights for all can lay a fertile ground for genuinely free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.”

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