Expected Council Action
The Council is expected to welcome the Secretary-General’s report marking the end of the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB) and the start of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (Bureau intégré des Nations Unies au Burundi, or BINUB).
Key Recent Developments
On 25 October the Council adopted resolution 1719 setting up BINUB and establishing its mandate. Priorities include peace consolidation and democratic governance, disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration and reform of the security sector, promotion and protection of human rights, and the coordination of donors and UN agencies.
On 6 November, the withdrawal of ONUB contingents was adjusted to allow them to assist with tasks of the Ceasefire Agreement with the Forces for National Liberation (FNL), signed on 7 September, before the AU Special Task Force is put in place.
In November, parliament granted provisional immunity to FNL members with the exception of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. At press time, seven suspects from the alleged coup attempt in August remain in jail having been refused bail.
The Secretary-General in November released a report on Children and Armed Conflict in Burundi, which identified possible violators.
Burundi was one of the first two countries taken up by the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC). During December, the government is expected to present peacebuilding strategies and plans to the PBC, which may visit Burundi that month.
Another issue is alleged human rights violations. BINUB’s human rights mandate means the new mission will have to play an important role on sensitive issues.
Related is the establishment of the truth and reconciliation tribunal and special chamber called for by the Council in resolution 1606 in 2005. In light of the lack of progress, resolution 1719 restated these calls.
A future issue is the possible need for ongoing supplementary security assistance for the AU Special Task Force after 31 December if there are delays in implementing the timetable of the Ceasefire Agreement.
A related concern is compliance with the Ceasefire Agreement. The FNL’s refusal to attend the launch of the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism may signal difficulties ahead.
Council members did not have difficulty agreeing on BINUB’s mandate, and they expect a smooth transition from ONUB to BINUB. However, many members will carefully monitor BINUB’s progress in meeting expected benchmarks.
|Selected Secretary-General’s Reports|