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COMMINIQUE OF THE GOVERNMENT ON THE REPORT

The Government of Burundi has learned through the media that a Report on the situation in Burundi has been submitted to the United Nations Security Council and would be published by Monday, February 27, 2017. Without even pretending to know the details of its contents, inasmuch as the Report did not go through official channels, the Government of Burundi would like to communicate the following :

1. The Government of the Republic of Burundi welcomes the
work carried out together with the United Nations, particularly around the years 2000. The cooperation with the United Nations has always been good and the Government of Burundi would like to keep it up.

However, the Government of the Republic of Burundi regrets that some lobbies with proven interests and positions against Burundi seem to have control over a number of United Nations’ organs to the point of influencing some reports.
The latest report edited for the UN Security Council, and which was widely disseminated by the French media long before its publication, is the most illustrative example.

2. The Government of Burundi would like to remind His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations that the author of the report, namely Mr. Jamal Benomar, has been officially disavowed by the Government. He cannot therefore, even from a moral point of view, present a neutral or balanced report on Burundi.

3. The report refers to unverified facts and lends intentions to the highest authorities of the Republic. As matter of fact, the reference to the President’s "4th term" is incomprehensible inasmuch as until now, no official report by the UN has bought the theory of the 3rd term defended by the insurgents. Jamal Benomar has finally emerged from the shadows by displaying his real motives in the public square.
It should be recalled that the Arusha Accord for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi is fully implemented in all the institutions of the Republic and that the allegations to the contrary are only a matter of bad faith.

4. The Government of Burundi takes this opportunity to inform the public insistently that the Resolution 173 (1962) of 26 July 1962 recognizing Burundi as a member of the United Nations confers all the rights devolved to other members of the prestigious family (The UN).

5. As such, the issue of the Constitution raised in the report falls under the sovereignty of Burundi, unless it is approved by an erga omnes resolution of the UN Security Council which clearly determines the number of terms the leaders of all member states have to spend on the helm of their states, as well as the type of constitutional text all the states of the world must comply with.

6. Otherwise, it is necessary to remind the UN of the two sacrosanct principles which are an integral part of its fundamental texts : the sovereign equality of states and the self-determination of the peoples, because it is based on these two principles that Burundi joined the Comity of Nations, having braved almost 70 years of foreign subjugation, with all the humiliation this situation entailed.

7. The Government of Burundi also wishes to remind that the Security Council is governed by rules that are equally and fairly applicable to all member states of the United Nations. The practice of double standards must cease, at the least should this prestigious Institution wants to stick with its good reputation.

8. It is within such a context that the Government of the Republic of Burundi rejected the resolution 2303 issued under Chapter VI of the Charter, following the flagrant lack of prior consultations necessary in the circumstances in which such a resolution can be implemented. The United Nations should regard Burundi as a sovereign state on the same basis as its other members and treat it as such. If no state is above the rules of the UN, neither can a state be treated below them.

9. For the Government of the Republic of Burundi the reference to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is inappropriate as long as the draft Headquarters Agreement governing its relations with the Office and which has been sent To Whom It May Concern is pending.

10. On this matter, the Government of the Republic of Burundi asks the Security Council to be consistent. Since the Government was waiting to be consulted on the appointment of Mr. Benomar’s successor, who would be responsible for negotiating this headquarters agreement, it seemed impertinent to attack the Government of the Republic of Burundi on the issue of the headquarters agreement with the Office of the Special Adviser to the Secretary General of the United Nations. The ball is therefore not in the court of the Government of the Republic of Burundi which awaits the reaction over the question submitted to the Secretary General of the United Nations.

11. Finally, the Government of Burundi reaffirms its commitment to continue its cooperation with the international community, particularly the United Nations, in mutual respect for the rules governing the member states, especially those relating to the Independence and Sovereignty of Peoples.

Done at Bujumbura, 27th of February 2017

Philippe NZOBONARIBA

Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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