TITLE=U-N-BURUNDI (L ONLY)
INTRO: The United Nations Security Council heard a
report today (Friday) that conditions in the African
nation of Burundi are at a critical stage. VOA
Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United
TEXT: Ibrahima Fall, Assistant U-N Secretary-General
for Political Affairs, told the Council that the peace
process in Burundi has all but collapsed. He said the
recent death of former Tanzanian President Julius
Nyerere who had been leading peace efforts, has
created a political vacuum. Mr. Fall also observed
that there has been a serious deterioration in the
humanitarian situation in Burundi.
Representatives of 21 nations spoke during the
Security Council's day-long discussion. They expressed
concerns about the political and human crises in
Burundi. United States Representative Nancy Soderberg
spoke against the Burundi government's policy of
forced relocation of thousands of people in what the
government says is a move to prevent armed attacks by
The United States shares the international
community's concern about the violence and its
effect on the government, civilians and on the
overall peace process. Counter-insurgency
efforts now include the so-called "regroupment"
of 340-thousand people near the capital, an act
we consider to be a major human rights violation
and a matter of serious humanitarian concern.
Ms. Soderberg and many other speakers called for the
immediate resumption of the peace process with a
facilitator acceptable to all Burundian parties that
were involved in the negotiations under Mr. Nyerere.
At the end of the meeting, Security Council President
Danilo Turk of Slovenia read a statement on behalf of
all Council members.
The Council firmly believes that the process
chaired by the late Mwalimu Nyerere offers the
best hope for peace in Burundi and should be the
foundation for all-party talks leading to the
conclusion of a peace agreement.
Mr. Turk also said the Security Council recognizes
Burundi's dire economic condition and urges donor
nations to expand their assistance to Burundi.(Signed)
12-Nov-1999 17:34 PM EDT (12-Nov-1999 2234 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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