Regained Hope for Burundi

8/28/2008 // Government forces in Burundi and Palipehutu/FNL, the last major rebel group, have agreed to end all fighting. “This is very gratifying news which gives new hope to the implementation of the ceasefire agreement," says Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim.

"This means that the peace process in Burundi can move to a new phase and that the country to a greater extent will be able to focus on development,” Minister Solheim says.

The comprehensive ceasefire agreement of September 2006 put an end to the civil war between the Hutu majority and the Tutsi minority in Burundi. Since the fighting in Burundi started again in April this year, more than 100 people have been killed and about 40,000 people have fled their homes.

Efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission
The Palipehutu/FNL delegation returned to the capital Bujumbura for new peace talks shortly after the Peacebuilding Commissions visit to Burundi earlier this month. During his visit in Burundi Norwegian Ambassador to the UN Johan Løvald called for an immediate ceasefire and the resumption of negotiations between the government and the Palipehutu/FNL.

Ambassador Johan L. Løvald  has held the position as Chair of the Country Specific Meetings on Burundi in the Peacebuilding Commission since June 2006.

Norwegian Involvement in Burundi
Norway has increased its involvement in Burundi to support the peace process in the country, including the establishment of an embassy section in the capital Bujumbura and increased development cooperation to approximately 100 million a year.

Minister Solheim participated in a major international donor conference in Burundi in May 2007 along with, among others, Minister of International Development Bert Koenders of the Netherlands.


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