2 February 2013 –Burundi's contribution for peace and stability in Somalia as well as its offer to help Mali are really appreciated and applauded by the United Nations, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs today said.
Speaking to the press in Gitega (center of Burundi) after an audience with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza, Jeffrey Feltman stated that "the United Nations recognize, appreciate and applaud the role Burundi has played in places like Somalia where Somali people today face a better future as a result of the great efforts and sacrifices that Burundi and other neighbors have made to bring peace and stability."
"We very much appreciate the offer the President of Republic has made to also help the people of Mali", USG Feltman added.
Burundian President reminded that having the country been supported in the past by African Union and United Nations forces, it is now an obligation to help establish peace in the world. "We have been supported and it is our duty, support others as we are doing in Somalia", President Nkurunziza stressed, adding that the country stands ready to send troops to Mali but such operation requires finance, logistic and other means that Burundi lacks.
President Nkurunziza also recalled the UN support, including "during the war, peace negotiations, peace agreements' implementation, electoral process and training of security and defense forces".
"The UN have already been aside Burundi, including today with BNUB (UN Office)", he told media.
On the organization's support, USG Feltman stressed the Secretary-General's deep commitment to working with the people of Burundi on development issues.
The discussions with Burundi's President, he stated, also focused issues in the region related to peace and security in the region but also on Burundi's challenges.
"We also talked about the way ahead, the role the UN can play, the role SRSG Parfait Onanga-Anyanga and his team can play in helping the President, the Government and the people of Burundi achieve their aspirations for free, fair and inclusive elections in 2015 for achieving the development goals", USG Feltman added.
The Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs leaves Burundi today after a short visit which included meetings with Burundian ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior as well as political leaders and civil society representatives.
The Secretary-general's report on Burundi was discussed last month in the Security Council. In his briefing to the Council, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Parfait Onanga-Anyanga stated that the country continues to make steady progress in strengthening governance and recovering from recurrent strife, but given persistent political tensions and poverty, support from the international community is still required.