17 February 2014
Security Council extends UN peacebuilding mandate in Burundi
On 13 February 2014, the Security Council extended the UN peacebuilding mission in Burundi until 31 December 2014, despite the government’s request to replace it by a regular UN country team by mid-2014. The Security Council followed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recommendation to maintain the UN Office in Burundi (BNUB), as the country moves towards elections in a deeply polarised political climate. BNUB was set up in 2006 to replace the UN peacekeeping mission in Burundi (ONUB) and to help the country recover from decades of ethnic war. The Secretary-General in his latest report to the Security Council noted the country’s ‘substantial progress, overcoming formidable challenges since the end of the civil war,’ but warned that these gains are not irreversible and that the elections will define the long-term progress.
The government’s request to set up a UN electoral observer mission before, during, and after the 2015 elections was granted by the Security Council. It called on the Secretary-General to install this mission directly after the BNBU’s mandate is terminated. The Security Council furthermore requested that the Secretary-General prepare BNUB’s transition and transfer of responsibilities to the country team by 31 December 2014. The Security Council urged the government to encourage inclusive elections and to safeguard human rights.