Burundi: UN rights commissioner urges implementation of peace agreement

NAIROBI, 4 March (IRIN) - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sergio Vieira de Mello appealed on Sunday to all parties in Burundi to forge ahead with the regional peace process, protect civilians and end the recruitment of child soldiers, UN News reported.
Vieira De Mello made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit to Burundi. UN News quoted him as saying that it was important to strengthen Burundi's capacity to deal with human rights issues and reform the judiciary.

On Sunday he met President Pierre Buyoya, Vice-President Domitien Ndayizeye and other senior officials and appealed to them for "broad commitment" to the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of 2000. Vieira de Mello also discussed with the officials how his office could support the overall peace process in Burundi, according to UN News.

"The High Commissioner also called for an end to the culture of impunity, emphasising that trust could be restored through holding accountable those responsible for gross human rights violations, such as the massacre that took place in Itaba, and settling the issue of prisoners and detainees," it said.

Also on Sunday, Burundi's transitional government and the main rebel movement, Pierre Nkurunziza's faction of the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Forces pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD), recommitted themselves to implementing past agreements to end nearly 10 years of civil war.

The commitment was made in a joint communique they signed at the end of a two-day regional summit on Burundi in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.


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