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Question of the future of Ruanda-Urundi

Publisher UN General Assembly
Author UN General Assembly
Publication Date 20 December 1960
Citation / Document Symbol A/RES/1579
Reference Fifteenth session
Cite as UN General Assembly, Question of the future of Ruanda-Urundi, 20 December 1960, A/RES/1579, available at: [accessed 14 December 2017]

1579. Question of the future of Ruanda-Urundi

The General Assembly,

Having received the reports of the Trusteeship Council[1] and of the United Nations Visiting Mission to Trust Territories in East Africa, 1960,[2] on the Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi called for under General Assembly resolution 1419 (XIV) of 5 December 1959,

Noting from the report of the Trusteeship Council that it is the Administering Authority's intention to hold early in 1961 elections on the basis of universal adult suffrage, and under the supervision of the United Nations, for the purpose of constituting national assemblies, for Ruanda and Urundi,

Noting further the statement of the Administering Authority that the elections are scheduled to begin on 15 January 1961, and its invitation to the United Nations to send a mission to Ruanda-Urundi about 15 December 1960 to see the actual implementation of the arrangements for the elections, such as the composition of the electoral rolls, the course of the election campaign and the organization of the poll,[3]

Being conscious of its responsibility to ensure that the supervision of the elections by the United Nations is effective, and that the elections, which will furnish the basis for the Territory's independence, are held in proper conditions so that their results are completely free of doubt or dispute,

Having heard the views of the petitioners belonging to various political parties and groups of Ruanda-Urundi,

1. Considers that the necessary conditions and atmosphere must be brought about expeditiously to ensure that the legislative elections, which will lead to the establishment of national democratic institutions and furnish the basis for the national independence of Ruanda-Urundi in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, take place in an atmosphere of peace and harmony;

2. Urges the Administering Authority to implement immediately measures of full and unconditional amnesty and to abolish the emergency régime so as to enable political workers and leaders who are in exile or imprisoned in the Territory to resume normal, democratic political activity before the elections;

3. Considers that the expeditious return and rehabilitation of thousands of victims of recent disturbances in Ruanda, who were compelled to take refuge away from their homes in Ruanda or abroad will assist the process of reconciliation, and urges the Administering Authority and the local authorities concerned to adopt all possible means to that end;

4. Recommends that a conference fully representative of political parties, attended by United Nations observers, should be held early in 1961, before the elections, in order to compose the differences between the parties and to bring about national harmony;

5. Appeals to all parties and political leaders of Ruanda-Urundi to exert their efforts to achieve an atmosphere of understanding, peace and harmony for the good of their Territory and people as a whole on the eve of independence;

6. Calls upon the Administering Authority to refrain from using the Territory as a base, whether for internal or external purposes, for the accumulation of arms or armed forces not strictly required for the purpose of maintaining public order in the Territory;

7. Recommends that the elections scheduled to be held in January 1961 should be postponed to a date to be decided on at the resumed fifteenth session of the General Assembly in the light of the recommendations of the Commission referred to in paragraph 8 below, so that, in addition to the fulfilment of the purpose of the preceding paragraphs of the present resolution, the arrangements for the elections can be completed under the supervision of the United Nations;

8. Decides to set up a United Nations Commission for Ruanda-Urundi, composed of three members, who will be assisted by observers and staff to be appointed by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Commission;

9. Requests the Commission to proceed immediately to Ruanda-Urundi to perform the following tasks on behalf of the United Nations:

(a) To supervise the elections to be held in Ruanda Urundi in 1961 on the basis of direct, universal adult suffrage, and the preparatory measures preceding them, such as the compilation of the electoral rolls, the conduct of the election campaign and the organization of a system of balloting which will ensure complete secrecy;

(b) To attend, as United Nations observers, the political conference envisaged in paragraph 4 above and the round-table conference to be convened after the elections to determine the future evolution of the Territory towards independence;

(c) To follow the progress of events in the Territory before and after the elections, to lend its advice and assistance, as appropriate, with a view to advancing peace and harmony in Ruanda-Urundi, and to report to the Trusteeship Council or the General Assembly, as necessary;

10. Requests the Commission to submit an interim report on the implementation of the present resolution to the General Assembly at its resumed fifteenth session;

11. Endorses the observation of the Trusteeship Council that, in view of the essential community of interests and the facts of history and geography, the best future for Ruanda-Urundi lies in the evolution of a single, united and composite State, with such arrangements for the internal autonomy of Ruanda and Urundi as may be agreed upon by their representatives.

960th plenary meeting,
20 December 1960.

At its 960th plenary meeting on 20 December 1960, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee,[4] appointed the members of the United Nations Commission for Ruanda-Urundi.

The Commission is composed as follows: Mr. Max Dorsinville (Haiti), Chairman, Mr. Majid Rahnema (Iran) and Mr. Ernest Gassou (Togo).

[1] Ibid., Fifteenth Session, Supplement No. 4 (A/4404), part II, chapter II.

[2] Official Records of the Trusteeship Council, Twenty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 3 (T/1551).

[3] Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifteenth Session, Annexes, agenda item 45, document A/C.4/455.

[4] Ibid., document A/4672, para. 25.

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