Burundi

Fréchette visits UN peacekeepers in southern Burundi

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On her second day in Burundi, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette travelled outside the capital Bujumbura to the southern province of Macamba, where she spoke with UN troops as part of an ongoing tour that aims to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse from occurring again in any peacekeeping operation.

Addressing the Kenyan battalion of the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB), which covers four provinces in the region, Ms. Fréchette said the positive measures taken to ensure correct conduct would help the gain the confidence and respect of the local population. In that context, she stressed that the UN Code of Conduct was as relevant to civilian staff as to the military.

She also thanked the contingent for their important role in providing security during February's referendum and the communal elections of early June.

Before addressing the troops, Ms. Fréchette conferred with the contingent's commander, who briefed her on measures taken within the three companies under his command to ensure adherence to the code of conduct. The Deputy Secretary-General welcomed the strict emphasis laid on the Code of Conduct, as well as measures taken to minimize stress among the troops.

A report recently prepared by Secretary-General Kofi Annan's adviser on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse among peacekeepers placed emphasis on the accountability of managers and officers in applying the UN code of good conduct and discipline. Stress-reduction measures are also encouraged.