The Hyderabad Deccan English Daily


Burundi's progress amid challenges commended by UN envoy Parfait Onanga-Anyanga



New York, July 23 (IBNS): Burundi has made progress on a number of fronts in recent months but still faces numerous challenges, including a weak economy, cross-border incursions and a mixed human rights situation, the top United Nations envoy to the country told the Security Council Monday.

Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Burundi, reported that there have been "significant" advances in terms of political dialogue over the past six months.

One among them is that several opposition politicians who remained in exile abroad following their boycott of the 2010 elections returned to Burundi to participate in a workshop that was held in March. Also, for the first time since the boycott, all Burundian political actors came together to discuss their country's political future.

"I wish to emphasize that the return of key political figures to Burundi marks significant progress and is an encouraging sign of the increasing willingness of all political actors to collaborate in the interest of preparing peaceful, free and fair elections in 2015."

The returning politicians have since resumed their activities and some political parties have already been able to make progress in terms of reaching out to their members in different locations of the country, he noted.

"These major advances on political dialogue have played a key role in reducing restrictions of political space which have had the negative impact of curtailing the ability of political parties and actors to freely conduct their day-to-day activities."

At the same time, the activities of some youth members of political parties have raised concern, Onanga-Anyanga said.

"Given the country's violent history, we strongly urge all stakeholders to ensure that youth wings of political parties perform their activities peacefully and do not become a source of intimidation and at times actual danger for the population, including those that may be politically active, thus affecting negatively the political environment ahead of the 2015 elections."

Supporting next year's elections in the war-scarred African country is one of several tasks assigned by the Council to the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB). Headed by Onanga-Anyanga, the Office was set up in 2006 to assist efforts towards peace and stability after decades of factional and ethnic fighting between Hutus and Tutsis killed hundreds of thousands of people.

The envoy noted that overall Burundi continued to enjoy a "commendable" level of security and stability. However, occasional clashes continued in recent months between Government forces and armed groups, including cross-border incursions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with armed groups claiming responsibility for some of the attacks.

"As such incidents show, the ongoing instability in eastern DRC continues to adversely impact on Burundi."

In addition, the country finds itself in an "extremely difficult" fiscal position, which could, if not handled properly, pose a serious threat to hard-won yet still fragile stability, the envoy warned.

The picture regarding the overall human rights situation during the first half of this year is "mixed," Onanga-Anyanga said, noting that there have been far fewer cases of killings that may have been politically motivated than in the past.

He also noted that the "excessive and inappropriate" use of force by State security agents, mostly the police, appears to have been the cause of the majority of cases of human rights violations that have been documented since the beginning of this year.

Another issue the country continues to struggle with, said the Special Representative, is the high rate of extreme poverty. "Food security and nutrition remain major challenges, and most Burundians continue to face a daily struggle to make ends meet."

He added that projections for 2013 indicate a slightly increased growth rate of 5.3 per cent, which is still insufficient to significantly reduce the poverty level, given continuing high rates of population growth.

Ambassador Paul Seger of Switzerland, the head of the Burundi configuration of the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), told the Council that his overall impression after visiting the country last month is that although it has made significant progress, a number of challenges remain to be tackled.

"I saw a real risk of a gap between the Government's expectations on the one hand, and those of the international community on the other," he stated. "Moreover, the fragility of the Burundian economy requires urgent action."

He said his message to the Government is to show political leadership and to redouble its efforts to undertake major reforms in the areas of good political and economic governance and the rule of law, while his message to the international community is to step up its commitment to Burundi and to maintain constructive, open and forthright communication with the Government.

"I realize that the peacebuilding process is difficult and requires perseverance. Every marathon runner knows that the last 10 kilometres are the hardest," Seger stated. "I therefore encourage the Government to press ahead with the race given that the country has made so much progress in terms of stabilization in recent years."


2013-07-23






Comments


No comments yet! Be the first one to leave a comment.


Add Comment

Name:
Email:
Comment:


Latest Videos:
Son attacked father in Hayathnagar -- addimited in Osmania General Hospital in serious condition Mouzam Khan\'s pad yatra in his Bahadurpura constituency
Man seriously injured in RTC Bus accident at Chaderghat -- shifted to Osmania Hospital Akbaruddin Owaisi in a pad yatra at Bandlaguda, Chandrayan Gutta constituency

Related Articles:

Burundi needs assistance to ease poverty, tensions: UN ..
Burundian political actors commit to dialogue : Ban Ki-moon ..
UN calls political parties and actors in Burundi to show restraint d ..
Ban seeks support for Burundis development ..
Ban Ki-moon proposes extending UN mission in Burundi ..
Security Council extends for mandate of UN office in Burundi to supp ..
UN envoy monitoring developments in Baidoa, Somalia ..
UN: Darfur facing challenges to achieve sustainable peace ..
South Sudan faces enormous challenges: UN envoy ..
Ban Ki-moon urges funds for health-related development goals ..

National Awards for Local Government - Active Arts Award

Australia, April 16/2013 : Each year local governments, big and small, are recognised for finding new ways to deliver services and develop creative lo

Miss Progress India to be crowned in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Mar 4 (IBNS): Miss Progress India will be hosted in Chandigarh this year.

The auditions for the coveted Pageant would be started

President of Fukushima nuclear plant company admitted to hospital

Tokyo, Mar 30: The president of Tokyo Electric Power Company, which operates Japan's stricken Fukushi ma Daiichi nuclear plant, was admitted to hospi

Army Chief General Bikram Singh visits Army Training Command

Shimla, Nov 7 (IBNS) Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh, made a two-day visit to the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) at Shimla on Nov 6-7.

The Chief w

Related News

     
     

International News

India born Vijay Seshadri wins Pulitzer in poetry

New York, Apr 15 (IBNS) India born American poet and essayist Vijay Seshadri has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry this year.

According to the official website of the prize, Seshadri was chose for a "distinguished volume of original verse."

He was awarded Ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for "3 Sections," (Graywolf Press), termed as a compelling collection of poems that examine human consciousness, from birth to dementia, in a voice that is by turns witty and grave, compassionate and remorseless.

Also nominated as finalists in this category were "The Sleep of Reason," by Morri Creech (The Waywiser Press), a ... Read More
Latest Headlines

Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge at Nong Khai celebrates 20th anniversary

Al Jazeera reports as India goes to polls

VisitScotland prank on April Fool's Day

Fun, culture and cuisine at Sukhothai, the homeland of Songkran Festival

MH 370 : Malaysia releases a transcript of communication between the cockpit and air traffic controllers

Internet unsafe for expressing views: BBC Poll

TAT invites Indian wedding planners to survey Thai destinations, offer advice

Telescope spots Mars-bound comet sprout multiple jets

Bangladesh attempts to sing its national anthem into record books


From plastic to power


Thailand attracting Chinese tourists to


Hindu invocation opens California's Newm


TAT Trang preparing tourism strategies a

This page was created in 0.083359003067 seconds