December 2006 Monthly Forecast

Posted 30 November 2006
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AFRICA

Burundi

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.

Options
The Council is likely to issue a presidential statement marking the end of ONUB and the start of BINUB. 

Key Issues
The key issue is internal stability. Friction has increased between the government and opposition parties, media and civil society.

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 Dynamics
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.

UN Documents

 Selected Resolutions
  • S/RES/1719 (25 October 2006) established BINUB.
  • S/RES/1711 (29 September 2006) extended until 31 December the temporary redeployment of ONUB personnel to MONUC.
  • S/RES/1692 (30 June 2006) extended ONUB’s mandate until 31 December 2006. 
  • S/RES/1606 (20 June 2005) requested the Secretary-General to start negotiations on transitional justice mechanisms in Burundi.
  • S/RES/1545 (21 May 2004) established ONUB.
 Selected Secretary-General’s Reports
  • S/2006/851 (27 October 2006) and Corr. 1 (6 November 2006) was the report on Children and Armed Conflict in Burundi.
  • S/2006/842 (25 October 2006) was the latest report.
 Selected Letters
  • S/2006/867 (6 November 2006) noted the new withdrawal schedule.
  • S/2006/866 (1 November 2006) was from the Secretary-General on the adjustment to the withdrawal schedule.

For background and a more complete list of documents, please consult our MarchJune and September 2006 Monthly Forecasts and our  23 October Update Report.

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