November 2005 Monthly Forecast

Posted 28 October 2005
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AFRICA

Burundi

Expected Council Action
Based on the report of the Secretary-General due 15 November, the Council will address the renewal and possible modification of the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB), whose mandate expires on 01 December.

Members of the Council will also visit Burundi during their mission to Central Africa, scheduled in early November.

Key Facts
Politics in Burundi have been divided along ethnic Hutu-Tutsi lines since independence, and fighting broke out in 1993 along those lines. A long period of instability followed, especially after the air crash death of President Cyprien Ntaryarmira in April 1994, and the ensuing ethnic violence. This air crash, of course, also signalled the beginning of the Rwanda genocide and ethnic violence in the Great Lakes region. ONUB was deployed in 2004.

Successful presidential elections were held this year but the forces nationales de libération (FNL, a major ethnic Hutu rebel group) did not participate and continue to pose a threat.

Rebels from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been involved in the conflict.

Rebel forces are believed to be present among displaced Rwandans seeking refuge in Burundi.

Economic reconstruction and development problems remain, despite reconstruction efforts by the UN and donor states.

Burundi and Rwanda have agreed to work on controlling flows of insurgents. Burundi has moved to repatriate Rwandan Hutu refugees, with the assistance of Rwanda.

Key Issues
The key issue is whether reduction in the size of ONUB at this time is premature and may produce incentives for spoilers to destabilise the situation.

Another issue, especially in light of the Secretary-General’s specific mention of a peacebuilding commission in his 23 August 2005 report, may be the level of progress being made in the General Assembly on the establishment of such a commission as a new UN organ and whether Burundi may be a first candidate for consideration by such a body.

Council Dynamics
Some Council members expect pressure from the US to limit the cost of UN operations and thus reduce the size of ONUB. However, several members appear to be strongly committed to extending the mandate and maintaining the current force size of ONUB because elections in August were so recent, and the region remains unstable. Unfolding events and information gathered during the visiting mission will also likely affect members’ views. Furthermore, the EU and African Union (AU) have been committed to supporting development and security in Burundi. Council members belonging to either organisation are likely to translate this approach into their actions on the Council.

Options
A significant reduction in size of ONUB is a possible option but is unlikely as it could create incentives to destabilise Burundi, with possible consequences in the wider region. Another option that has been suggested is for the Council to renew the mandate of ONUB for only three or six months, and to review the situation again. This would permit the Council to assess regional stability and whether FNL rebels present a serious threat.

UN Documents

Security Council Resolutions
S/RES/1602 (31 May 2005) extended the mandate of ONUB until 1 December 2005.
S/RES/1545 (21 May 2004) established ONUB
Presidential Statements
S/PRST/2005/19 (23 May 2005) welcomed the joint declaration by the Government and the FNL on the cessation of hostilities.
S/PRST/2004/30 (15 August 2004) condemned massacre of over 150 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Secretary-General’s Reports / Letters
S/2005/644
S/2005/328
Other
A/60/L.1 (20 September 2005) 2005 World Summit Outcome, pages 97-105

Historical Background

23 August 2005

Secretary-General Annan proposed a peacebuilding commission for Burundi to settle problems after the eventual withdrawal of ONUB.

19 August 2005 Pierre Nkurunziza was elected president.
28 February 2005 Referendum approved the Constitution.
01 November 2004 Constitution went into effect.
21 May 2004 Resolution 1545 created ONUB.
April 2003 The African Union deployed the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB).
July 2002 South African former president Nelson Mandela failed to broker a peace accord.
2001 President Pierre Buyoya agreed to ceasefire with Tutsi and Hutu insurgents.
1996 Buyoya staged successful coup.
1994

Cyprien Ntaryarmira appointed President, but killed two months after taking office in air crash with Rwanda’s president, which sparked a wave of political violence.

Nov-Dec 1993 Between 30,000 and 50,000 people killed in ethnic massacres.
October 1993 Melchior Ndadaye assassinated.
June 1993 Ndadaye elected president.

Other Relevant Facts

Secretary-General’s SpecialRepresentative
Carolyn McAskie (Canada)
Force Commander
Major-General Derrick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi (South Africa)
Size

Current Strength: 5,625 total uniformed personnel (5,344 troops, 178 military observers and 103 civilian police) plus 330 international civilian personnel, 378 local civilian staff and 157 UN Volunteers

Troop Contributing Countries

Algeria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uruguay, Yemen and Zambia

Cost
$307.69 million

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