Update Report

Posted 23 October 2006
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Update Report No. 3: Burundi

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UN DocumentsHistorical BackgroundOther SCR Reports on this Issue

On Wednesday the Council is expected to adopt a resolution defining the mandate and structure of the UN Integrated Office in Burundi (Bureau Integre des Nations Unies au Burundi or BINUB). The integrated office will be set up on 1 January for a twelve month period under the leadership of the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General and will replace the current peacekeeping mission, the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB), when its mandate expires on 31 December 2006.

The 14 August addendum to the Secretary-General’s June report fleshed out the details of the integrated office first proposed in June. Council members felt the Secretary-General’s recommendations were too broad and that there was a need for a more focused mandate and narrower priorities particularly given the limited resources.

In the discussions over the resolution, many Council members had Sierra Leone’s integrated office experience on their minds and stressed the dangers of a broad horizontal list of priorities. The consensus was that core security issues such as disarmament, reintegration and human rights rather than development issues should be the focus for the first stage of BINUB. Members also wanted to ensure that the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General had the flexibility to deploy resources where they were most needed rather than being constrained by a prescriptive set of priorities.

The draft resolution sets out BINUB’s two key roles as:

  • providing support to the Burundi government in creating peace and stability; and
  • ensuring coherence and coordination of the UN agencies in Burundi.

The key priorities for BINUB are:

  • peace consolidation and democratic governance (strengthening capacity of national institutions and civil society, good governance, press freedom, consolidation of rule of law);
  • disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration and reform of the security sector (support for Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement and reform of the security sector, demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants, combating small arms proliferation);
  • promotion and protection of human rights (assisting with design and implementation of a national human rights action plan, helping establish transitional justice mechanisms, including a truth and reconciliation commission and special tribunal); and
  • donor and UN agency coordination (strengthening partnerships between government and donors and strengthening the government’s capacity to work with donors).

Two recent developments are likely to assist BINUB in its peace consolidation efforts. On 7 September the Government of Burundi and the Forces Nationales de Liberation (FNL) signed the Dar-es-Salaam Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement heralding a possible end to thirteen years of civil war. On 13 October the Peacebuilding Commission discussed Burundi and recommended it for assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund which was launched on 11 October.

The key issue facing the Council is the establishment of an effective successor to ONUB. The Council will be assessing BINUB’s progress in meeting expected benchmarks over the year.

The political situation in Burundi is another issue for the Council which will be keeping a careful eye on rising tensions between the government and the opposition. The Council continues to be concerned about the security situation in Burundi and if it deteriorates Council members will have to decide whether to postpone BINUB’s start date. The Burundi government however has made it clear that it does not want ONUB to continue beyond 31 December 2006.

Another issue is maintaining a good relationship with the government of Burundi. This is essential if BINUB is to properly implement its mandate. Yet, human rights violations are emerging as a potential flashpoint given BINUB’s human rights mandate and alleged government human rights violations following the recent coup attempt.

A future issue that could affect the stability of the country is compliance with the Ceasefire Agreement. A Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM) to oversee the implementation of the ceasefire was officially launched on 11 October. The FNL, however, did not attend the launch because one of its representatives on the JVMM had been detained in Bujumbura.

Another issue related to the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement are the discussions between the AU and the South African facilitation team that had been involved in brokering the agreement on the possible deployment of South African troops from ONUB to the AU Special Taskforce which was set up as part of the agreement.

UN Documents

 

Selected Resolutions

  • S/RES/1692 (30 June 2006) extended ONUB’s mandate until 31 December 2006 and requested further details on the Secretary-General’s recommendation to establish a UN integrated office.
  • S/RES/1669 (10 April 2006) authorised the temporary redeployment of military and civilian personnel from ONUB to MONUC.
  • S/RES/1545 (21 May 2004) established ONUB and set out its mandate.
Selected Press Statement
  • SC/8818 (25 August 2006) called on the government and all parties in Burundi to preserve peace and national reconciliation and encouraged the government to follow due process in its investigations into the possible coup attempt.

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2006/429/Add.1 (14 August 2006) provided specifics on the mandate and structure of the integrated office in Burundi.
  • S/2006/429 (21 June 2006) proposed the establishment of a UN integrated office.

Peacebuilding Commission

  • PBC/OC/1/2 (21 June 2006) was a letter from the president of the Security Council to the Secretary-General referring Burundi to the Peacebuilding Commission.

Historical Background
For a historical background and more details, please refer to our March and September 2006 Forecasts.

Click here for other SCR Reports on Burundi

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