The United Nations Security Council today expressed “deep concern” over the political situation in Burundi – including increasing numbers of refugees and reports of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings – and strongly urged the Government and all parties to immediately cease and reject such violence.
In a statement read out by Ambassador Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta of Egypt, which holds the Council presidency for August, the 15-nation body underscored deep concern regarding the continued worsening humanitarian situation, “marked by nearly 202,000 internally displaced persons, three million people in need and more than 416,000 Burundians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries […] resulting from the country's persisting political impasse.”
The Council commended the host countries for their efforts, and regional governments “to respect their international obligations relating to the status of refugees, and to ensure that their return is voluntary, based on informed decisions and in safety and dignity.”
It also strongly condemned all public statements inciting violence or hatred towards different groups, “including calls for forced impregnation of women and girls” and urged the Government and all parties to cease all violence and to condemn any hate speech.
The Security Council stressed that the prevailing situation has “seriously undermined” the gains achieved through the 2000 Arusha Agreement, with “devastating consequences for Burundi and the region as a whole."