Burundi

Burundi: ONUB calls for an end to all criminal acts witnessed recently

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Bujumbura, Burundi - There have been serious incidents in Bujumbura and Bujumbura Rural over the past five days. Obviously, the aim of the incidents is to intimidate people and create an atmosphere of fear, as legislative elections draw near. Moreover, they are meant to derail the electoral process.

ONUB reminds all stakeholders of their responsibilities in the national peace and reconciliation process which goes in tandem with free and transparent elections. The international community at large hailed the success achieved in organising the referendum and commune elections respectively in February and June 2005, an achievement which Burundian men and women should be proud of. A few individuals, whoever they are, can not therefore throw off course the process which is now deeply entrenched in the realities of Burundi.

ONUB calls for an immediate end to all criminal and barbaric acts which have been witnessed over the past few days. Burundi is making a new beginning after many years of fratricidal war and seeks to forge a free society to which the majority of the population aspires. Everything must be done to instil peace in hearts and minds in a country worth living and which should be the pride of its citizens.

ONUB further urges the new National Police force, the National Defence Force and all civil society organisations to do everything to denounce or facilitate the arrest of the perpetrators of these acts so that they can be prosecuted.

ONUB also requests political parties to instruct their militants to refrain from any acts of provocation or assault and to strictly comply with the code of conduct which all parties endorsed freely. They will all be held accountable to their people and history.

In regard to the Independent National Electoral Commission, ONUB reiterates its support and urges the Commission to use its prerogatives to immediately put an end to incitement to hatred and all forms of assault.

Lastly, ONUB encourages Burundian authorities to avoid taking sides publicly and to allow the free and full-scale expression of democracy. All stakeholders will share responsibility for the success or failure of the on-going electoral process.

Should things get out of hand, ONUB will hold accountable people, at any level whatsoever, who fail to meet the obligations associated with their duties.