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UN peacekeeping missions mandate in Burundi extended until beginning of December

The United Nations Security Council today extended the mandate of its peacekeeping UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB) for six months until 1 December and called on the African Great Lakes country’s political actors to try harder to ensure the success of their political transition, national reconciliation and long-term stability.The political parties should refrain from any actions that might affect “the cohesion of the Arusha Agreement process,” the Council said in a resolution unanimously approved today. The peace accord was brokered by former South African President Nelson Mandela and was signed in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2000.With Burundi’s constitution approved in a February referendum and its elections scheduled for later this year, the Council said it looked forward to Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s “recommendations by 15 November 2005 on the role of the United Nations in supporting Burundi, including on the possible adjustment of ONUB’s mandate and force strength, in accordance with progress made on the ground.” The Council said it was also awaiting his proposals for an international support mechanism after the transitional period.The Council had authorized the peacekeeping mission, in the establishing resolution in May of last year, to have 5,650 troops and up to 120 civilian police (CIVPOL).It welcomed ONUB’s efforts to implement Mr. Annan’s zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to ensure full compliance with the UN code of conduct.The Council also urged ONUB’s troop-contributing countries “to take appropriate preventive and disciplinary action to ensure that such (sexual exploitation) acts are properly investigated and punished in cases involving their personnel.”

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