UN urges 'inclusive' implementation of peace process

Members of the UN Security Council have urged the parties in Burundi to work out all remaining issues in advance of the installation of a transitional government, set to begin on 1 November. In a press statement following the Council's closed-door consultations late on Tuesday, the current president of the 15-member body, Ambassador Richard Ryan of Ireland, welcomed the progress made at a recent summit held in Pretoria. "Members of the Security Council called on all the Burundian parties to avail of this unique opportunity and to implement the peace process in an inclusive manner," Ryan said. He stressed that the members "called on the Burundian parties to resolve the outstanding issues without delay so that the installation of the transitional government can proceed on 1 November".

Under an agreement reached by the parties, the transitional government will be led for the first 18 months by current Burundi President Pierre Buyoya, with Domitien Ndayizeye serving as vice-president. For the second 18-month phase of the transition, Domitien Ndayizeye will take over the presidency while a new vice-president belonging to the G10 (Tutsi) group of parties will be designated.

Council members also reiterated their strong support for former South African President Nelson Mandela, who is the Burundi peace process mediator.

Ryan said the Council, which had been briefed on the situation in Burundi by UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Kieran Prendergast, "will continue to follow developments very closely".