Preventing Escalation in Burundi

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    Mr. Feltman opened the meeting noting serious implications for stability and ethnic harm in Burundi and perhaps regionally. This is based on the number of reported politically motivated killings and attacks increasing daily. There are nightly exchanges of gunshots and explosions and frequently discovered mutilated bodies. Two UN staff members have been killed in the last three weeks. The police have the right to use “all available means” to find illegally possessed arms. The president’s ultimatum has caused 280,000 displaced refugees across the Great Lakes region. To resolve this situation, Burundi needs to address the political deadlock. The Secretary-General will announce a special advisor who will focus on preventing Burundian violence. He calls on Burundian leaders to cease violence, hate-speech, and separating the East African community.

    Mr. al Hussein spoke next about the potential for serious regional repercussions. 240 people have been killed since protests began in April. The current crisis has already undone much of Burundi’s economic, political and social progress.

   Mr. Dieng pointed out that the language being used by the ruling party is similar to the Rwandan government’s prior to the notorious genocide. He requested a peacekeeping mission to protect civilians. “We will not be able to claim, if a full scale conflict erupts, that we didn’t know.”

   The Burundian Minister disputed these claims, saying that his country is calm besides certain spots within the capital. In two months, their commitment is to bring peace to the country and they have succeeded in 91% of the country. Burundi wishes to continue the “good neighborliness” between them and neighboring countries during this “time of turbulence”. The concerns about Burundi are founded and justified, but all must do their utmost to ensure the lasting peace in the area.

Meeting: Security Council, 7552nd Meeting

Time/Location: 15:00-16:30, Security Council Chamber

Speakers: Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman; Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, High Commissioner for Human Rights; Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations; H.E. Ambassador Tete Antonio, African Union Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Advisor to UN on Genocide; Minister of External and Internal Relations of Burundi; Representative from Uganda

Written by: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

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