The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President U. Joy Ogwu (Nigeria):
On 8 April, the members of the Security Council were briefed by United Nations Department of Political Affairs Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman on the situation in Burundi.
The members of the Security Council expressed their concern for the political tensions in Burundi and for continued restrictions on the press and on civil liberties, including limitations on the freedoms of expression, of association and of peaceful assembly, including for members of opposition political parties, and for media and civil society organizations, especially in the run-up to the 2015 elections.
They condemned any recourse to violence, and expressed their concern for the reported acts of intimidation, harassment and violence committed by youth groups in Burundi.
They recalled the urgent need for the Government of Burundi to address impunity, while respecting the right of due process, and for all the political parties to publicly condemn all political violence and acts of incitement to hatred or violence, in line with the Constitution of Burundi and the Arusha Agreement.
The members of the Security Council encouraged further efforts by the Government of Burundi to ensure a space for all political parties and to continue to improve dialogue between all relevant actors, including civil society, with a view towards ensuring a conducive, free and open environment in the run-up to the 2015 elections.
They encouraged Burundi to sustain the progress towards peace, stability and development and reiterated the need for the United Nations system and the international community, including the international financial institutions and Burundi's development partners, to maintain their support for peace consolidation and long-term development in Burundi.
They welcomed Burundi's contribution and active participation to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations, especially in Somalia and Central African Republic.
The members of the Security Council commended the continued contribution of the United Nations Office in Burundi (BNUB) and the United Nations system to the country's peace, security and development, and reiterated their full support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Burundi.
They recalled the Security Council resolution 2137 (2014) and their requestto the Secretary-General to keep the Council informed on the benchmarks, the implementation of the mandate of BNUB and of the resolution, and the conditions that affect such implementation, as well as on BNUB's transition to the United Nations country team.