April 16, 2024

As the UN relaxed on Friday the security rating of the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, from Phase Four
to Phase Three, the African Union (AU), the continent’s foremost political body, decried inadequate financial and logistical support for its peacekeeping mission in the country.

In its situation report for 21-27 July, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the country (OCHA) said the revision of the capital’s security rating allowed for the return of all UN staff and the resumption of programmes that were affected by the declaration of the higher security rating on 8 July.

Non-essential UN staff had been moved out of the capital and others out of the country following rebel attacks on the capital between 7 and 13 July.

The AU, in a statement issued on Friday from its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said inadequate funding was hampering the completion of the deployment of the African Mission in Burundi (AMIB), which is mandated to monitor the implementation of ceasefire agreements signed between the rebels movements and the government, and to ensure a smooth change from a transition period to democracy.

The AU said the continued “woeful inadequacy of financial and logistic resources” for AMIB “could undermine the results thus far achieved in the implementation of the peace and reconciliation process in Burundi”.

At the same time, the AU urged the Forces nationales de liberation faction led by Agathon Rwasa to join the country’s peace process without further delay, and to end attacks in parts of the country, the latest being the 7-13 July attacks on southern suburbs of Bujumbura.

Rwasa’s faction is the only rebel movement that has not signed a ceasefire agreement with the government, which is already in the second phase of a three-year transitional period.

In its report, OCHA said a UN Security Council meeting held on Friday endorsed recommendations made by the council’s mission in central Africa, which included the recommendation that the council should call on the international financial community to assist AMIB.

The council mission, which visited Burundi between 7 and 16 June, recommended the provision of adequate budgetary and economic support to the transitional government.

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