29 July 2016 - Burundi : Violence must end [fr]
Burundi/Adoption of Resolution 2303 - Explanation of vote by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 29 July 2016
I wish to take this opportunity to convey the gravity of the occasion today as we have just adopted resolution 2303 (2016), on Burundi. After intense negotiations, today the Security Council has taken an important decision that marks a potentially decisive step on the path to peace in Burundi. I wish to thank all my colleagues and their teams for the great amount of work that we done together in a consistently constructive spirit.
In adopting resolution 2303 (2016), the Security Council is pursuing two main goals. The first is to support an authentic inter-Burundian dialogue. The Security Council strongly reaffirms that only a peaceful dialogue among all Burundians will allow Burundi to restore lasting peace. To that end, the Security Council is renewing its full support to the facilitator of the inter-Burundian dialogue, former President Benjamin Mkapa.
The Security Council urges the Burundian parties to commit without delay to the process led by Mr. Mkapa in a constructive and sincere manner. Next week’s visits to Tanzania and Kenya by the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault, will provide the opportunity to renew that support.
The Security Council also reiterates its support for the Special Adviser of the Secretary-General, Mr. Benomar, so that he can support the work of the facilitators. The dialogue must be based in no uncertain terms on the Arusha Peace Agreement and respect it in letter and spirit. More than ever, the Arusha Peace Agreement is the compass that must guide stakeholders in Burundi and the international community.
The second goal is to end the violence and calm tensions in Burundi. Let us be clear — as the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights has underscored, acts of violence persist in Burundi, accompanied by an increase of serious violations of fundamental rights and freedoms. The number of cases of forced disappearances and torture in detention centres, the location of which is often kept secret, is even on the rise. Targeted acts of political violence continue and only increase tensions. Last month, the arrest of 70 young people for having drawn caricatures of the President of Burundi in their school notebooks was a very troubling indication of that.
In order to contribute to calming the situation, the Security Council expresses its readiness to adopt sanctions against all those who threaten peace and security in Burundi. Moreover, the Security Council urges the Government of Burundi to finally allow the deployment of 200 observers of the African Union in compliance with the commitments undertaken last February to the delegation of the Heads of State of the African Union. As of today, fewer than 50 of those observers are deployed in Burundi.
Finally, based on a proposal by the Secretary- General, the Security Council has decided to deploy 228 United Nations police officers to monitor the security and human rights situations. With the rise in violence and tensions, the Security Council must be have all ears and eyes on the ground to alert, prevent and avoid the worst in Burundi. By helping to reassure the people, the police presence should assist in dissipating tensions, thereby facilitating a peaceful dialogue. It will also help to alert the Council if the situation further deteriorates.
In its history, Burundi has already experienced tragic massacres wherein ethnicity was exploited for the worst ends. Today, the Security Council is carrying out its responsibility so that history does not repeat itself. Within the Chamber, we often stress the importance of acting in a timely manner in order to prevent conflicts. That is exactly what the Security Council is doing through the adoption of resolution 2303 (2016). Today, we are collectively carrying out a decisive act of preventive diplomacy faced with the threat of tragedy, requiring us to continue to work tirelessly, despite our differences and with Burundi, to pave the necessary way to peace.
We will never forget the Rwandan genocide of 1994. We will never forget our collective responsibility in connection with what happened in Rwanda. We promised ourselves: “Never again”. By adopting resolution 2303 (2016), the Security Council is learning from the past. By adopting resolution 2303 (2016), the Security Council is acting in order to prevent Burundi from reliving the worst possible scenario. By adopting resolution 2303 (2016), the Security Council has heeded the desire of the people of Burundi to finally resume the road to peace. Today, while we are not at the end of the road, we have taken a major step and sent a loud message together.