New York, 28 August 2015, Burundi marks the fifteenth anniversary of the initial signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Tanzania. This process gave birth to the first generation of Burundians with no direct experience of war since independence.
Never has the spirit of Arusha been as sorely tested as in the past five months.
The Secretary-General encourages the people of Burundi to recapture the spirit of the Arusha Agreement, based on dialogue, consensus, and the peaceful settlement of disputes. He calls on all leaders from across the political spectrum to show the courage and vision to resume dialogue with their rivals and look beyond their political differences. No matter how great these difference may seem, they are smaller than the price of returning to violence.
A month after the signing of Arusha Agreement, the Facilitator of the Burundian Peace Process, the late President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, stated before the United Nations Security Council that “Burundi stands at the threshold of a completely new chapter in its history. That history will judge very harshly those that deliberately choose to obstruct the road to peace and progress.”
Today, the Secretary-General echoes that message. He expresses his sincere hope that all of Burundi’s political leaders, including those in exile, will find common cause and show their commitment to build on the peace and stability that the Arusha Agreement has brought to the country.