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Published: 30 Apr 2003
|J Zuma: Inauguration of President of the Republic of Burundi (30/04/2003)|
Source: The Presidency
Title: J Zuma: Inauguration of President of the Republic of Burundi
MESSAGE BY THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA, HE JACOB ZUMA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI, 30 April 2003
Your Excellency, President Ndayizeye of the Republic of Burundi
Your Excellencies, Heads of State and Government
Your Excellency, Former President Buyoya
Your Excellency, Former President Mandela of the Republic of South Africa
The Interim Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr Amara Essy
The Honourable Premier of the Western Cape Province in South Africa, Mr Marthinus van Schalkwyk
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great honour for us to witness this milestone in the history of Burundi and the continent.
Two years ago, when the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement was signed, it looked unthinkable that the Presidential changeover would really take place in Burundi after 18 months.
The road to peace has been long and thorny, and continues to be fraught with challenges. But the determination of the Barundi people continues to be undiminished, as evidenced by this significant step forward.
A lot has been achieved already, looking at highlights such as the signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in 2000 and the installation of the Transitional Government in 2001.
The country has also attained the signing of the three-ceasefire agreements between the Transitional Government and armed movements in 2002, and the beginning of the implementation thereof.
I would like to pay tribute to Former President Buyoya, for displaying statesmanship, courage and patriotism, by stepping down from office when the time came to do so.
You have, Your Excellency, demonstrated to the whole world that you are willing to put the interests of your country above those of your own. This has laid a solid foundation for the second phase of the transitional period.
A lot has been achieved in the last 18 months due to your courageous leadership, including the signing of the cease-fire agreements, the passing of crucial transitional legislation and generally establishing the right foundation for the transition.
We hope you will continue to play a key role in the peace process. I have had the pleasure of working with you, and you have never failed to avail yourself for this important national task.
To His Excellency, President Ndayizeye, congratulations, and let me emphasise that we fully understand the challenges you face.
The next 18 months are going to critical for moving the peace process forward, eventually leading to national elections. You have fortunately been part of the transitional process, and are fully aware of the programme of action.
Many crucial tasks still remain, such as the reform of the security forces and the implementation of various aspects of the cease-fire agreements.
I wish you and Deputy President Kadege all the best as you work together to restore stability.
Your Excellencies, I wish to single out for praise two outstanding statesmen who have driven this peace process at different periods, Mwalimu Nyerere and Former President Nelson Mandela.
Mwalimu must be smiling upon us today as he sees yet another realisation of his dream of restoring peace, stability and democracy in this country.
Former President Madiba spent countless hours working towards the conclusion of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement of the year 2000, on which this leadership changeover is based.
We salute you Madiba for never failing to respond when the continent needs you; especially where it has to do with achieving peace and reconciliation.
This ceremony is a tribute to you and your sound leadership, patience and your dedication to the cause of working for a better continent and better world.
We must also acknowledge the support to the peace process, by the leadership of the region. President Museveni, the Chairperson of the Regional Initiative on Burundi, and President Mkapa the Deputy Chairperson, and all Heads of States in the Great Lakes region, has always been available to lend a hand to the process.
We also acknowledge the positive role of the international community, particularly the United Nations and the African Union, and especially their special representatives in Burundi, Ambassador Dinka of the UN and Ambassador Bah, of the AU.
The two Ambassadors have made a sterling contribution during the cease-fire negotiation process, sitting through long and complex discussions between the Transitional Government and the armed groups.
They have also worked at ensuring the implementation of the agreement, and intervening in conflicts on the ground between the armed groups and Transitional Government.
Many countries continue to support Burundi, including the Kingdom of Belgium, and we thank you, Deputy Prime Minister Michel for this.
I must also thank the Burundian political parties, which have continued to co-operate and work together, despite differences, since the signing of the Arusha government.
They have made the transitional institutions function well and ensured the implementation of this leadership changeover.
In addition, we must acknowledge the armed political movements, which signed cease-fire agreements last year, the CNDD-FDD of Jean Bosco Ndayikengurukiye and Palipehutu FNL of Alain Mugabarabona, who are already in Bujumbura, and the CNDD-FDD of Pierre Nkurunziza.
We call upon all signatories to respect the agreements they signed, and vigorously participate in implementing them and refrain from violations, especially given the deployment of the African Union Mission peacekeeping force. We hope the Palipehutu-FNL of Agathon Rwasa will see this fast movement forward and conclude an agreement without delay.
Your Excellencies, three months has elapsed since the signing of the last cease-fire agreement, and we cannot waste any more time before finalising the political appointments for the African Union Mission in Burundi.
It is therefore my great pleasure to announce the appointment of Ambassador Mamadou Bah, the AU representative in Burundi, as overall political head of the African Mission. Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa will supply Deputy Heads. This will then complete the deployments at a political level, while the military deployment schedule is also on track.
We believe we are laying the foundation for an effective implementation of the cease-fire agreements, which should lead to the solving of problems in this country politically and not violently.
I must emphasise that South Africa will continue to provide unwavering support to the process, as part of the collective African objective of eradicating all conflicts in the continent.
Let me once again; congratulate His Excellency President Ndayizeye and Deputy President Kadege.
We wish you and all the Barundi people all the best on the road ahead.
I thank you.
Issued by The Presidency
30 April 2003