PRESS RELEASE: The 631st Meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council...

PRESS RELEASE: The 631st Meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council on the Situation in Burundi

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african_union-1ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 12, 2016/APO/ — The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 631st meeting, held on 6 October 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in Burundi:

Council,

1.    Takes note of the briefing made by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for the Great Lakes region, Professor Ibrahima Fall, as well as the statements by the representatives of the Republic of Angola, as  member of the African Member in the United Nations Security Council, the United Nations (UN), the European Union and the permanent members of the Security Council namely France, United Kingdom and the United States of America;

2.    Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Burundi, in particular, Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DLXXXI) adopted at its 581stmeeting held on 9 March 2016;

3.    Acknowledges that   the security situation in the country has improved, especially in the capital city Bujumbura and its surrounding areas. In this respect, Council urges the Government of Burundi to continue enhance security and safety, ensuring fundamental freedoms and civil liberties for all Burundians, including through reopening the space for the media;

4.    Strongly condemns all incidents of violations of human rights, arbitrary arrests and targeted killings by whomsoever in the country and urges the Government to take further stern and urgent measures to put these actions to a definite end;

5.    Reiterates the imperative of urgent resumption of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue under the aegis of the East African Community (EAC) as the only practical way forward to resolve the crisis in the country. In this regard, Council reaffirms the need fora consensual approach among all the Burundian stakeholders to address and resolve contentious issues relating to the situation in the country, and in so doing, to uphold the Constitution and the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of August 2000;

6.    Underscores the need for the deployment of additional the AU human rights observers and military experts in line with the relevant decisions of Council, to monitor and report on the human rights and security situation in Burundi. In this respect, Council calls for full cooperation of the Burundian authorities and other concerned stakeholders in the country;

7.    Urges the Government of Burundi to speed up the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the AU Commission for the smooth deployment of the AU human rights observers and military experts in Burundi, as well as to start discussion with the UN on the modalities to deploy 228 UN police officers as adopted by the UN Security Council resolution 2303 (2016) of 29 July 2016;

8.    Further urges the Government of Burundi, in consultation with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the countries hosting Burundian refugees, to promote and ensure safe conditions for the return of refugees into the country and their resumption of normal life;

9.    Requests the AU Commission to continue to closely monitoring the situation in Burundi and to brief Council on a regular basis, in order for it to take appropriate decisions;

10.    Requests the Commission to take the necessary measures to invite the EAC Facilitator of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue, former President Benjamin Mkapa to brief Council on the status of the Dialogue;

11.    Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit this communique to the United Nations Secretary-General, for it to be circulated as an official working document to members of the UN Security Council in time for their meeting on Burundi scheduled for 13 October 2016;

12.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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