Power-Sharing Pact Called 'Significant Breakthrough.' (Burundi)

Article excerpt

Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali on 14 September welcomed the signing of a Convention of Government on power-sharing by nine political parties in Burundi and assessed it as a "significant breakthrough".

He said he hoped that Burundi would soon elect a new president and establish a government so that international assistance for the country's rehabilitation, recovery and development could be facilitated.

The first agreement on power-sharing was signed by 9 out of 13 political parties on 10 September. It was followed by a second agreement, on the modalities of the presidential succession, which was signed on 18 September by 10 political parties. The agreement provided, inter alia, for the National Assembly of Burundi to select a consensus president. On 30 September, the official candidate of the Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU), Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, speaker of the Parliament, who had also acted as Burundi's Interim President since 6 April, was elected President by the National Assembly by 68 votes to 1.

On 29 July, in a statement by its President, Jamsheed K.A. Marker of Pakistan, the Security Council had expressed support for the ongoing political dialogue on presidential succession, and condemned extremist elements which sought to block progress towards a peaceful settlement. it also demanded that all parties cease immediately any incitement to violence or ethnic hatred. The Council had also expressed alarm over the recent violence in Bujumbura and reiterated its condemnation of the violent interruption of the democratic process in Burundi.

On 25 August, the Security Council--after considering an oral report of a fact-finding mission led by Ibrahim A. Gambari of Nigeria which visited Burundi on 13 and 14 August--called upon all the parties to reject any undemocratic or extremist solutions in settling their political differences.

In a 25 August statement by Council President Yuliy M. Vorontsov of the Russian Federation, all parties involved in the negotiations on the presidential succession were urged to display "maximum political will" for a speedy settlement of their differences by the scheduled date of 26 August.

The fact-finding mission submitted a report (S/1994/1039) to the Security Council on 7 September, focusing on the political, security and humanitarian situation in Burundi. …