The Burundian government released a statement calling for the closure of the UN special envoy’s office in Bujumbura.
The country’s foreign affairs ministry in a verbal note indicated that the closure comes as a result that the whole country is stable and peaceful.
“Logically, socio-economic development is now the flagship area that needs support from the United Nations country team and other partners to establish mutually beneficial and respectful partners with Burundi,” said Burundi’s foreign affairs minister Albert Shingiro.
Mr. Shingiro said that it goes without saying that the political governance of the country falls exclusively into the national competence, with Burundi expressing the need to cooperate with the United Nations in the economic field, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded the closure of the UN special envoy before the end of this year.
According to the statement from the foreign affairs ministry dated November 18, 2020, Shingiro said the United Nations would only intervene in the socio-economic field starting next year.
After stressing that it is only “socio-economic” flagship area needs support, the Foreign Minister said that governance falls exclusively within the national competence.
“The government to consider the presence of the United Nations as a political one is no longer relevant and does not add any value to the daily lives of Burundian citizens, but rather would lead to the psychosis of artificial crisis,” the statement reads.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to notify the General Secretary of the United Nations of the formal closure and liquidation of their special envoy’s office in Burundi by December 31, 2020,” the statement reads from the country’s foreign affairs minister Albert Nshingiro.
The move comes as Burundi rejected the reports released by the UN Commission of Inquiry of crimes and Human Rights violations said to have been committed before and after 2015 political crisis.
Burundi had was hit by political crisis in 2015 after the former late president Pierre Nkurunziza vied for another term in the office.
Opposition in the country argued that the move violated the then country’s constitution that limited any sitting president to run more than two terms in the office.
However the country’s constitutional court and most recently the East African Court of justice ruled in favor of the late former president.
This is not the first time the country has closed UN offices, in February 2019 Gitega closed the UN Human Rights Commission offices accused of being biased.