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U.S. Department of State
96/01/29 USUN Press Release #010-(96)
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY USUN PRESS RELEASE #010-(96)
CHECK TEXT AGAINST DELIVERY JANUARY 29, 1996
Statement by Ambassador Madeleine K. Albright, United States Permanent
Representative to the United Nations, on the Situation in Burundi, in
the Security Council, in Explanation of Vote,
January 29, 1996
Today the United Nations Security Council sends a clear message to all
the people of Burundi: The violence must stop.
In a letter to Burundian President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya that I
personally carried to Burundi for President Clinton, the American
President called on all Burundians to reject extremism and resolve their
differences peacefully. The United States will not support, recognize,
or provide assistance to any government that comes to power by force in
Burundi. Indeed, the U.S. would lead an effort to isolate such a
Escalating violence in Burundi has pitted the Tutsi minority against the
Hutu majority, resulting in widespread human rights abuses. A wave of
killings has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians each week, and
the Tutsi-dominated military and its auxiliary forces have driven many
Hutus out of the capital, Bujumbura. A rural Hutu insurgency is
fighting back, targeting both Tutsi civilians and the military.
According to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights Special
Rapporteur, "a smoldering civil war is spreading further and further in
Burundi," giving rise to "an increasingly marked genocidal trend."
Aid workers fear for their lives in Burundi. Security for humanitarian
workers must be increased or they will have to leave the country. The
U.S. calls on the Government of Burundi to guarantee the safety of aid
The United States deplores the continuing instability and violence in
Burundi. The U.S., along with other donor countries, is seeking ways to
defuse tensions in that country. The United States urges the leaders of
Burundi to isolate the extremists and seek a lasting peace. Ultimately,
it is the people of Burundi who have it in their hands to prevent their
country from falling into the abyss. It is up to Burundians to ensure
that Burundi does not commit national suicide.
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