HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 c426W
Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response has been made by the Government of Burundi to the request by the United Nations Security Council that it should stop its policy of forced regroupment into recruitment camps. [101522]

Clare Short

[holding answer 14 December 1999]: Following an open debate on Burundi in the UN Security Council on 12 November, a Presidential statement was issued calling on the Government of Burundi to "halt the policy of forced regroupment and allow the affected people to return to their homes, with full and unhindered humanitarian access throughout the process".

In response to this and other international pressure, on 13 November the Government of Burundi made a statement to the international community on the "organisation of protective settlements for rural populations". The statement justified the policy of regroupment as necessary for security reasons. There is no specific commitment to reversing the policy although the Government of Burundi claims that the settlements are gradually dispersed at the first signs of a return to a satisfactory state of security".

More recently, in a statement to the press on 3 December, UN Security Council members repeated their concern at the policy of forced regroupment.

I am placing a copy of the Government of Burundi statement in the House of Commons Library.