Burundi: IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events, 8/21/96

Burundi: IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events, 8/21/96

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IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events in Burundi 21 August 1996

Sources for the information below include UN agencies, NGOs, other international organisations and media reports. IRIN issues these reports for the benefit of the humanitarian community, but accepts no responsibility as to the accuracy of the original sources.

# Burundi's regime has reiterated its opposition to UN proposals for a multinational force in Burundi, following a statement in support of the proposal by Dr Boutros-Ghali yesterday. Jean-Luc Ndizeye, spokesman for Pierre Buyoya said, "we are against the sending of foreign troops. We are not surprised by Boutros-Ghali's declaration but we are opposed to it." He added, "This approach does not take into account the reality in Burundi. It is up to we Burundians to take our destiny in hand."

# The comments come in the wake of the UN Secretary-General's latest report to the Security Council, in which Dr Boutros-Ghali stated that "the international community must allow for the possibility that the worst may happen and that genocide may occur in Burundi. In that case, whatever Governments may think now, military intervention to save lives might become an inescapable imperative."

The report acknowledged, however, that previous efforts to find countries willing to take the lead in mobilizing and organizing such a force had met with little response. Two proposals had been considered by UN Member States, a peace-keeping operation and a force for humanitarian intervention deployed under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. Some 86 Member States had been approached regarding a contribution to the peacekeeping proposal, of which 20 had replied, 14 positively and 6 negatively. On the humanitarian intervention force proposal, nearly 50 countries were approached, of whom 21 replied, and 11 declined to participate. Of the 10 positive replies, only three member states offered troops.

Dr Boutros-Ghali was critical of the coup d'etat of July 25, stating that "the forceful overthrow of the legal Government will not solve the problems of Burundi. It will reinforce the fears of one side and strengthen extremists on both sides. It will increase violence and add to the suffering of the Burundian people. It thus makes political dialogue all the more imperative."

On sanctions, the report suggests that they "should not be seen as an instrument of punishment, nor should they be allowed to add to the hardship of the suffering people of Burundi. They are, as always, a means to an end. The end in this case is the opening of serious negotiations for a political settlement." Consultations on establishing humanitarian exemptions continue.

# Burundi's Prime Minister, Pascal-Firmin Ndimira, has claimed that sanctions imposed upon the country threaten to create `a humanitarian catastrophe'. He is reported to have written to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation stating that there will be a famine if food supplies do not reach the country by the middle of next month. "If by mid-September, this food is not in Bujumbura and if no other provisions are put in place rapidly, Burundi risks an unprecedented famine and a very serious humanitarian catastrophe", he said.

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From: UN DHA IRIN <> Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 20:32:34 +0300 (GMT+0300) Subject: Burundi: IRIN Daily Summary of Main Events 21 August 1996 96.08.21 Message-Id: <>

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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