Burundi: “MENUB closes but the United Nations remains”
Bujumbura (November, 18th 2015) - Although MENUB complete its term, "I reaffirm that the United Nations will remain steadfast in their support for the people and Government of Burundi." These are the words from the message of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon. A message read by Mr. Tadjoune Diabacte Ali, Deputy Director of the Electoral Assistance Division within the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, sent to Burundi on the occasion of the solemn closing ceremony of the activities of the United Nations Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB ) held this Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Bujumbura.
Mr. Issaka Souna, Acting Head of MENUB who chaired the ceremony reminded that the unanimous adoption of resolution 2248 on November 12, 2015 by the Security Council reflects the intention of the international community to remain alongside Burundi.
In his speech, the Head of Mission briefly raised the achievements of MENUB activities, stressing in particular that 24 teams of 72 election observers were deployed in four regional offices, allowing " a coverage of the entire territory and observing the different stages of the electoral process, from voter registration to the announcement of final election results including civic education and sensitization”
The observation findings of the different electoral processes by MENUB was detailed in three preliminary reports which were made public on legislative and municipal elections (29 June) , Presidential ( July 21 ) , Senate ( July 24 ) and in the final report of MENUB electoral observation which will also contains findings on the election of local and municipal leaders ( August 24 ) and will be published in the forthcoming days , according to the practice of election observation , as stated by Mr Souna.
Mr. Issaka Souna didn’t forget to mention, in terms of achievements, the continued support of MENUB to the partners engaged in the electoral process and the facilitation efforts of the political dialogue between March and July 2015 , while regretting , however, that the results have not lived up to expectations.
The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Resident in Burundi, Mr. Agostinho Zacarias recalled that despite the step taken for peace, Burundi is still residual and major challenges to overcome and require government efforts and its partners. Mr. Zacarias also reiterated the fact that despite the departure of MENUB, the United Nations will continue to assist Burundian “by supporting the government in the implementation of national policies to respond more effectively the humanitarian challenges of peace and development that the country is facing.”
This need for support of Burundi by the United Nations has also been expressed by the Representative of the Government at the ceremony , Ambassador Zacharias Gahutu , Director General in charge of international organizations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, who stated that though the mission had actually fulfilled its mandate , the Burundian Government still rely on the United Nations to assist Burundi in the areas of peace consolidation and socio-economic development.
It’s worth reminding that MENUB was established by resolution 2137 of the Security Council adopted on 13 February 2014 in response of the United Nations to the request of the Government of Burundi to deploy a mission to observe the electoral process in Burundi before, during and after the elections and report to Mr Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, who in turn, report to the Security Council.
MENUB will definitely close on December 31, 2015.