Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union concerning Burundi
Press Release: Brussels (19-10-2000) - Press: 387 - Nr: 12306/00, P 158/00
Referring to its declaration of 19 September 2000 and to the statement of 29 September 2000 by the President of the United Nations Security Council,
being seriously concerned at the scale and intensity of attacks by armed groups in Burundi and at the effects of clashes between those groups and government forces on the population,
gauging with disquiet the risks entailed by such violence for the peace process, albeit reactivated by the agreement reached in Arusha on 28 August 2000,
firmly believing negotiation to be the only way of bringing a lasting solution to the Burundian crisis and embarking upon a process of national reconciliation,
the European Union:
- reaffirms its full support for the efforts of ex-President Mandela and the signatories to consolidate the Arusha agreement of 28 August 2000;
- reiterates its urgent appeals to all parties in Burundi, particularly the armed groups, to respect the fervent desire for peace cherished by the Burundian people, for whom the Arusha agreement holds out hope that must not be dashed;
- strongly condemns the use of force to settle disputes and urges the armed groups to give a positive response to the calls made to them at the 13th summit under the regional initiative for peace in Burundi, in Nairobi on 20 September 2000, for an unconditional suspension of hostilities without delay and for the urgent resumption of negotiations to flesh out and implement the Arusha agreement;
- expresses its readiness to support any initiative to bring an end to the cycle of violence into which Burundi has all too long been plunged;
- again calls on the governments of countries able to bring influence to bear on armed groups, in particular those of the DRC, Zimbabwe and Tanzania, to urge them to choose the path of peace and negotiation without delay.
The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus and Malta, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.