Burundi Security Council members urge warring parties to reach ceasefire

Council members “called on all belligerents to cease hostilities immediately and urged the armed groups to enter into ceasefire negotiations without further delay with a view to concluding a ceasefire agreement,” said the current President of the 15-member security body, Ambassador Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, in a statement to the press following consultations.The members also encouraged cooperation among the Burundian parties “in order to ensure the smooth running of transitional institutions and the resolution of pending issues,” Ambassador Lavrov said. “They also strongly support the efforts of the facilitation and regional initiative to expedite ceasefire negotiations.”The President’s statement commended South African troops in the country “for their important contribution to the effort to help bring comprehensive peace to Burundi” and encouraged them to continue their mission in the country. Council members also commended efforts to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of refugees “at a measured pace to ensure the safety of returning refugees in the current security situation.”Looking to the broader global context, the members called on the international community to support the process in the framework of the Arusha Agreement and urged the donor community to increase economic, humanitarian and development assistance to Burundi.During their closed-door meeting, Council members were also briefed on sanctions against Liberia. Ambassador Lavrov said they “took note” of the Security Council sanctions committee’s intention to have further discussions on recommendations produced by a Panel of Experts on those measures.The Chairman of the sanctions committee will brief the Council on the outcome of those discussions sometime before 6 May, according to Ambassador Lavrov.

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