Peacekeeping mission in Burundi extended until December 2006

Citing “factors of instability” that remain in Burundi despite democratization and ongoing negotiations with the last major rebel group outside the country’s peace process, the Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission there for six months until 31 December 2006.Through a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body also welcomed the stated intention of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish a UN office to replace the mission by the end of the six-month period.By the same action, the Council also extended until 30 September Mr. Annan’s authority to temporarily redeploy a maximum of one infantry battalion, a military hospital and 50 military observers from ONUB to the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).In a December resolution extending ONUB’s mandate, the Council had first authorized redeployment of personnel between the two missions to bolster MONUC during the DRC election process and as a step toward draw-down of the Burundi force after last year’s successful elections, as the small African country emerges from its 12-year civil war. read more