Statement by representative of the Russian Federation Alexander Repkin at the UN Security Council meeting on Burundi
Distinguished Mr. President,
We are thankful to Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Commissioner of the African Union Smaїl Chergui, as well the as Chair of the Burundi configuration of the Peacebuilding Commission, Permanent Representative of Switzerland Jürg Lauber for their substantive briefings.
Frankly speaking, we do not quite understand the motifs our colleagues at the Council were guided by when requesting to convene this meeting.
The international community has not received any alarming news from Burundi for quite a long time by now. Diplomats in Bujumbura report that the situation in the country is rather calm and tends to normalize. We point out stable situation in the area of security, a significant decrease in the level of crime, including attacks on civil infrastructure by the radical opposition. Refugees get back to Burundi from the neighbor countries; the pace of this process depends only on the availability of resources required for their settling-in.
Once again, we remind about the key event in the internal Burundian settlement – the constitutional referendum that took place a year ago. This vote proceeded in a calm environment with participation of the overwhelming majority of Burundi’s population. Let me remind that the majority of voters (73.26 %) supported constitutional amendments; and that the referendum itself was preceded by a democratic and transparent campaign.
We repeatedly call to respect Burundi’s sovereignty. Russia condemns in strongest terms any interference in the internal affairs of the country, including in the context of parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for 2020.
It is well-known that Burundians are already actively preparing for these elections. In particular, national budget allocated funds to finance the electoral cycle. The country has an independent national Election Commission. The Parliament by a majority of votes amended the Electoral Code. It is also important that the dialogue between the political forces of the country is going on. “Kayanza Roadmap” endorsed and adopted by the majority of political parties, proves that dialogue is in place.
We call upon the authorities and the opposition to abandon all the negative rhetoric and concentrate on preparations for the electoral process. The initial cause for disputes has long been lifted: Incumbent President P. Nkurunziza, claimed on multiple occasions he would not be running for the elections.
We believe efforts of the national government of Burundi in social-economic area require particular support today. In this regard we welcome the National Development Plan 2018-2027 adopted in Bujumbura. We believe further progress at this track could be sustained by revoking economic sanctions against Burundi in full compliance with decisions made at the AU summits in Nouakchott in July 2018 and in Addis Ababa in February 2019.
In general, we are convinced: the situation in Burundi poses no threat to the international peace and security. The remaining attention of the Council to Burundi has long become counter-productive; our discussions only help the irreconcilable opposition aggravate domestic political processes in this country. It is time we withdrew Burundi from the overloaded agenda of the Security Council.