26 April 2017

Burundi: Michel Kafando, Nominated New UNSG Special Representative in Burundi

Burundi Government accepts the proposal by the UN Secretary General (UNSG) to replace Jamal Benomar, his special advisor on the Burundian conflict, by Michel Kafando.

Alain Diomède Nzeyimana, Deputy Spokesman for Burundi President, says the Presidential Office has received a letter from the UN Secretary General nominating Michel Kafando, the former chairman of interim government in Burkina Faso, to replace Jamal Benomar, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the resolution of Burundi conflict. "However, we have not yet received a letter confirming his appointment," Nzeyimana says.

He says the government of Burundi has given the green light. "The government could not oppose the appointment of that person. He is a veteran in diplomacy and international relations. We hope that he will accomplish his mission," says the deputy spokesman for the Burundian President.

"He has the mission to restore peace and security in Burundi"

"We welcome the nomination of the former chairman of the interim government in Burkina Faso to be the new UN Special Representative in Burundi. The fact that the people of Burkina Faso entrusted him to lead the interim government after President Blaise Compaoré fled the country following the popular insurrection, shows that he is trustworthy, "says Tatien Sibomana, a political opponent. For him, Kafando has honored his promise to the people of Burkina Faso by organizing a credible and transparent general election.

He says that this diplomat played a prominent role in restoring the rule of law in Burkina Faso. "Africa needs people who keep their promises like him," Sibomana says.

Kafando will replace the Moroccan Jamar Benomar, whom the Government of Burundi had challenged. It accused him of producing biased reports on Burundi. According to Sibomana, Burundi is experiencing a political crisis caused by President Nkurunziza's desire to seek a third illegal and unconstitutional term. These UN representatives come to Burundi with a special mission to observe the situation prevailing in the country in order to produce reports that they submit to the UNSG.

This opposition politician says Kafando may also be challenged like his predecessor. He says the Burundian government does not accept a diplomat who dares to denounce the crimes committed in Burundi.

"I would like to warn this new UNSG representative to avoid being manipulated by the Government of Burundi and be impartial by listening to all parties to know the real situation prevailing in Burundi," says Sibomana.

He also says the UN, which is responsible for ensuring peace and security, should implement all the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council on Burundi and compel the Government of Burundi to effectively take part in inclusive dialogue.

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