REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI
PRESIDENCY OF THE REPUBLIC
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY GENERAL AND SPOKESPERSON OF THE GOVERNMENT
STATEMENT FOLLOWING THE REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL DATED 6 FEBRUARY 2018
1. On February 6, 2018, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Antonio Guterres, handed to the United Nations Security Council a report on Burundi and through which a manipulation and distortion of the political and security situation of the country is obvious. The above situation prompts the Government of Burundi to provide the following clarifications:
2. The Government of Burundi appreciates the contribution of the international community in supporting its efforts to consolidate peace, democracy and national unity. It is in this context that it wishes to reiterate gratitude to the Secretariat General of the United Nations, which has always sent Representatives to follow Burundian issues closely, and when necessary, the Secretary General visited in person, as it has been the case for Mr. Ban-Ki-Moon in February 2016, who returned very satisfied with the political and security evolution of Burundi.
3. The Government of Burundi nonetheless deplores that there some of these Representatives who, instead of doing their work properly and independently in order to report the situation as it stands, do not hesitate to show their bias towards the interests surrounding Burundi issues. This is why according to some of them, no progress or positive development in the country is reflected in their reports.
4. In this context, the Government of Burundi questions the silence of Mr. Michel Kafando, the initiator of the report presented by the Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on the positive evolution of the situation in Burundi which he witnessed during his recent stay in the country, preferring to focus only on the ongoing Constitutional Reform while ignoring that the latter is a response to the insistent demand of the people of Burundi through the inter-Burundian dialogue that gave the floor to all layers of the population without any discrimination.
5. The Government of Burundi would like to recall that the Draft Revision of the Constitution is the result of an inclusive dialogue that has been conducted both inside and outside the country. It is quite normal that such a process can not have the support of all. In Burundi as elsewhere, consensus does not mean unanimity.
6. The negative assessment of the Draft Revision of the Constitution in Burundi by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who recommends that the « process must be conducted in an inclusive manner in order to achieve the widest participation and consensus possible among key actors in political life » results from an inaccurate briefing by some UN Secretary-General staff or advisers on the prevailing situation in Burundi.
7. However, the Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary-General on Burundi, Michel Kafando, seems to be the most suitable for understanding the political situation in Burundi, for having himself been the victim of a military coup at the time he was in charge in his country Burkina Faso. There is no country in the world where putschists are entitled to a table of dialogue with legitimate institutions. The fate of the putschists is settled in courts and that is what happened in the country of Mr. Michel Kafando, and which should inspire the vision of the Security Council on the Burundian issue.
8. The Government of Burundi regrets that there are still some of its partners who continue to push for a dialogue with criminals who have fled the country after failing to overthrow the democratically elected institutions by a Coup d’état in addition to others who have played a lead role in the organization of the violent insurrection of 2015 that provoked mourning for Burundi.
9. The Government of Burundi therefore deplores the fact that the Secretary-General of the United Nations was misled by those who should enlighten him on the Burundian issue, pushing him to violate Article 2.7 of the Charter which rules that « Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state « . Its report of 06 February 2018 is a flagrant interference in the constitutional affairs of Burundi, and the Security Council is invited to take note of this breach of the Charter at its meeting of 26 February 2018 on this report.
10. Moreover, by interfering with the process of constitutional revision in Burundi, the report of the Secretary General of the United Nations violates Article 2.1 of the UN Charter, which states that this Organization is based on the principle of sovereign equality of all its Members. Indeed, the Government does not understand this relentlessness on Burundi insofar as cases of revision of the Constitutions have been observed in many countries, whether in the Region or elsewhere, which the United Nations has found normal because legitimate . The Security Council is also invited to take this into account at the meeting of 26 February 2018.
11. The Government of Burundi reaffirms its determination to defend the sovereignty and political and economic independence of the country and reiterates its commitment to build a political order and a system of governance inspired by the realities of our country and based on the values of justice, of democracy, pluralism, respect for the freedoms and fundamental rights of the individual, unity and solidarity.
12. The Government of Burundi recalls that it was the same People of Burundi who established the institutions of 2015 that expressed the wish to see their Constitution amended. The Government has prepared amendment proposals and the People of Burundi who are sovereign will have the latitude to endorse or reject them.
13. As part of this process, the Government appeals to Burundian refugees in general, and politicians not pursued by the Justice in particular, to return to their country to join the other Burundians in the preparation of the elections of 2020. The Government reiterates its determination to ensure security for all, which is indeed a reality today. The Burundian people are urged to give precedence to the development work and to participate with serenity and massively to the Constitutional Referendum due in May 2018 to pave the way for the 2020 elections.
14. Finally, the Government of Burundi requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to accompany them in this way and to always analyze with perspicacity and caution the reports produced for him which are often misleading and which may consequently mislead him in spite of his good faith. As far as it is concerned, the Government will spare no effort to cooperate with the United Nations provided that its sovereignty is respected.
Secretary-General and Spokesman of the Government.