UN Security Council extends peacebuilding mandate in Burundi

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The UN Security Council on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN peacebuilding office in Burundi, known as BNUB, for one year until Feb. 15, 2014.

The 15-nation council welcomed "the continued progress that Burundi has made towards peace, stability and development," said the resolution.

The resolution called for continuing efforts to support the government of Burundi, including strengthening the legal frameworks of the country, protecting human rights, as well as promoting the socioeconomic development of women and youth and conflict-affected populations.

Strengthening institutions may be key to these goals, it said, as the 15-member council encouraged renewed "efforts to pursue structural reforms aimed at improving political, economic and administrative governance and tackling corruption, with a view to setting up strong drivers for sustained and equitable social and economic growth."

The council also "calls upon the government of Burundi to foster inclusive elections in 2015 by continuing to improve dialogue between all national actors, including civil society, and to guarantee a space for all political parties," said the resolution.

The peacebuilding office in Burundi was originally established in 2006, to consolidate peace efforts in a country that has been plagued by decades of factional fighting between the Hutus and Tutsis.

Prolonged armed fighting between different factions has created severe problems of poverty, arms proliferation and tensions that threaten regional stability.

The council therefore called on "the government of Burundi to pursue its efforts of peace consolidation and reconstruction in a regional perspective, especially through projects fostering peace" with intergovernmental bodies like the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

The council also called upon "the government of Burundi to take further necessary steps to prevent human rights violations, in particular ongoing extrajudicial killings including politically motivated killings, mistreatment of detainees and torture, and restrictions on civil liberties." Endi

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