Minister For Foreign Affairs Welcomes Peace Breakthrough in Burundi
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern, T.D., has welcomed the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Forces nationales pour la liberation (French acronym, FNL) and the Burundian Government at a ceremony in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on 7 September.
“I welcome very much the fact that the FNL, the last rebel group opposing the Arusha peace accords of 2000, has now agreed to cease its military campaign and work towards a comprehensive peace deal with the Burundian Government. I would also like to commend the valuable mediation role played by the South African Government in brokering this ceasefire agreement”, stated the Minister.
“The cause of peace in Burundi and throughout the Great Lakes region is one which Ireland and our EU partners have been actively promoting and supporting. I hope that the ceasefire agreement concluded on 7 September will act as a spur to the early conclusion of a comprehensive peace agreement between the FNL and the Burundian Government and a final end to conflict in Burundi.”
“Such an outcome is strongly to be desired in terms of promoting peace throughout the region and would also represent a fitting memorial to all those who have died during the conflict in Burundi, including the late Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Michael Courtney.”
The Minister concluded by stating that “Ireland and the EU will continue to work with the Burundian Government to strengthen democracy, increase respect for human rights and promote reconciliation among all Burundians. We remain committed to doing all we can to assist Burundi on its path of post-conflict recovery.”
Note for Editors
South African-mediated peace talks between the Burundian Government and the FNL, the last rebel group to oppose the 2000 Arusha peace accords by force, have been ongoing over the past four months in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. A ceasefire agreement between the two sides was signed on 7 September at a ceremony in Dar-es-Salaam attended by President Nkurunziza of Burundi, as well as President Mbeki of South Africa and President Kikwete of Tanzania and came into effect on 10 September 2006. South Africa has been mediating on behalf of the Regional Peace Initiative for Burundi which comprises Burundi and its neighbouring countries. The negotiations between the FNL and the Burundian Government will now continue with a view to conclusion of a final peace agreement in the near future.
11th September 2006