Statement on massacre in Burundi, 19
I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to
the Burundian people on the loss of their loved ones
and compatriots during the massacre in which more than
170 people were killed in the province of Gitega on
9 September 2002.
We are particularly concerned that the massacre has
taken place during a period of negotiating a ceasefire
agreement, which is aimed at adding further impetus
to the achievement of peace and stability in Burundi,
in line with the Arusha Peace, and Reconciliation Agreement
signed on 28 August 2000.
We strongly condemn the killing of civilians and the
general loss of lives and believe that negotiations
are the only route to peace and stability in Burundi.
We have been informed by the delegation of the National
Council for the Defence of Democracy/Forces for the
Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) of Peter Nkurunziza
that the movement has declared two days of mourning
in light of the massacre. Based on that, the movement's
delegation to the talks has requested a two-day delay
so that they can participate in the mourning period.
We would like to appeal to all affected parties in
Burundi to exercise calm and restraint, and focus on
working towards a lasting solution to the problems facing
the country, so that we can prevent further killings.
We will once again invest all efforts to assist the
negotiating parties to find common ground, for the sake
of the people of Burundi.
A ceasefire agreement is a critical guarantee for lasting
peace and stability in Burundi, and we must emphasize
to all parties that time is running out, given that
the last summit on Burundi is scheduled to take place
on the 7th of October in Arusha, Tanzania.
HE JACOB G ZUMA
CHAIRPERSON: BURUNDI CEASEFIRE NEGOTIATIONS
DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA