Press Releases

                                                                                                                            2 June 2004

    On Establishment of UN Operation in Burundi, Secretary-General Says Country’s Leaders, People Must Accelerate Efforts on Elections, Security Reform

    NEW YORK, 1 June (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General welcomes the official transfer of authority from the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB) to the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), which was established by the Security Council by its resolution 1545 (2004) of 21 May 2004. The success of AMIB is evident and laid a solid foundation on which to further advance the peace process.

    The Secretary-General believes that it is up to the Burundian people and their leaders to take advantage of this significant opportunity of renewed international commitment to Burundi to bring about a durable peace.  They must now accelerate their efforts and work closely together to address urgent priorities such as preparations for the elections, the disarmament and demobilization of combatants and the reform of the security sector.  The Secretary-General also hopes that FNL (Rwasa) will use this opportunity to join the peace process in the interest of the long-suffering people of Burundi.

    The Secretary-General extends his heartfelt appreciation to the contingents of AMIB for their dedicated service to the cause of peace in Burundi, under very difficult conditions.  The Secretary-General is pleased that they will participate in ONUB, to be joined by additional contingents from other countries.  ONUB, together with the African Union and other friends of Burundi, will lead the renewed effort of the United Nations to assist Burundi in meeting the difficult tasks ahead.  The Secretary-General calls on the international community to contribute generously to the national reconciliation and reconstruction efforts of Burundi.

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