Situation in Burundi remains fragile: UN envoy

Source: Xinhua| 2018-11-22 20:13:25|Editor: xuxin
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The top UN envoy for Burundi said Wednesday that the situation in the African country remains fragile as a result of lack of trust and dialogue between the government and opposition.

"The situation in Burundi remains fragile, in particular, due to the lack of inclusive political dialogue, but also due to the humanitarian, economic and financial difficulties and security threats," Michel Kafando, UN secretary-general's special envoy for Burundi, told the Security Council.

After more than three years of tireless efforts through the inter-Burundian dialogue process, it is now necessary for the United Nations, the African Union, the sub-region and Burundi's partners to re-evaluate the ways and means to help Burundi emerge from the current political crisis, he said in a briefing.

This thinking needs to be started, first and foremost, with the Burundians themselves, and then by the region, said Kafando.

The Burundi political crisis dates back to April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a controversial third term. Although Nkurunziza earlier this year declared that he would not seek re-election in 2020, the political crisis remains.

Kafando said both human rights and humanitarian situations in Burundi remain worrying.

The Burundian government has not resumed cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, he noted. Human rights violations and abuses continue in the country, such as arbitrary arrest and forced disappearance and other forms of intimidation, said Kafando.

Some 1.7 million people in Burundi face food insecurity. From January to October 2018, 52,260 refugees returned to the country while more than 380,000 refugees are living in other countries in the region, including 227,510 in Tanzania, he said.

Briefing the Security Council at the same meeting, Jurg Lauber, chair of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, stressed the importance of the 2020 elections in the country.

"The elections of 2020 are already very much at the center of political attention in Burundi. It will be crucial for the future of the country that these elections be free, inclusive, democratic and peaceful, and that their results enjoy high legitimacy primarily inside the country, but also internationally," said Lauber, who is also Swiss ambassador to the United Nations.