United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi

The United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB) was established by the Human Rights Council through resolution A/HRC/S-24 of 17 December 2015 which asked he High Commissioner for Human Rights to “urgently organize and dispatch on the most expeditious basis possible a mission by independent existing experts:

(a) to undertake swiftly an investigation into violations and abuses of human rights with a view to preventing further deterioration of the human rights situation;

(b) to make recommendations on the improvement of the human rights situation and on technical assistance to support reconciliation and the implementation of the Arusha Agreement;

(c) to engage with the Burundian authorities and all other relevant stakeholders, including United Nations agencies, civil society, refugees, the field presence of the Office of the High Commissioner in Burundi, authorities of the African Union, and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in particular with a view to help the State to fulfil its human rights obligations, to ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses, including by identifying alleged perpetrators, to adopt appropriate transitional justice measures and to maintain the spirit of the Arusha Agreement;

(d) to ensure the complementarity and coordination of this effort with other efforts of the United Nations, the African Union and other appropriate regional and international entities, drawing on the expertise of the African Union and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to the extent practicable.”

The Human Rights Council resolution requests to have a representative of the experts issue an oral update and participate in an “enhanced interactive dialogue” at its 31st session (March 2016). The resolution asks also the experts to issue a final written report at its 33th session (September 2016) and to participate in an interactive dialogue during the same session.

Independent Experts

The “independent existing experts” identified by the High-Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out the mandate outlined in the Human Rights Council resolution A/HRC/S-24 are:

Ms Maya Sahli-Fadel

Ms Sahli-Fadel (Algerian) has been teaching law at the Law Faculty of the University of Algiers 1 since 1981, and at the Diplomatic Institute of International relations (IDRI) and at the National School of Magistrates (ENM) since 2000.

She had been a lawyer at the Bar of Algiers from 1987 to 1994. She has been a member of the Commission on Human Rights and Peoples since 2011. In this capacity, she is the African Union Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, and a member of the Working Group on Death Penalty and the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Between 2008 and 2014, Ms Sahli-Fadel was a member of the United Nations Working and Expert Group on People of African Descent.  

Mr Christof Heyns

Mr. Heyns (South African) is the director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and professor of human rights law at the University of Pretoria, where he has also directed the Centre for Human Rights, and has engaged in wide-reaching initiatives on human rights in Africa. He has advised a number of international, regional and national entities on human rights issues. In August 2010, he was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions.

Mr Pablo de Greiff

Mr. de Greiff (Colombian) is Director of the Project on Transitional Justice of the Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice at the New York University School of Law. From 2001 to 2014, he was Director of Research at the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). In 2012, he was appointed by the Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees Of Non-Recurrence. Mr. de Greiff has worked with different transitional justice bodies across the world and has provided advice to a number of Governments and multilateral institutions on international policy, transitional justice, and on the linkages between justice, security and development.

The experts are not United Nations staff. They are not remunerated and serve in their independent personal expert capacity.

Call for Submissions

The UNIIB invites interested individuals, groups and organisations to submit information and/or documentation on human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi since April 2015.

The deadline for the submission of information is 25 June 2016.

All submissions must include the contact details of the author(s). Submitting entities/individuals should specify if the submissions – or parts of them - should be treated confidentially. UNIIB shall take all necessary measures to ensure the confidentiality of the identity of the victims, authors and/or any other persons named in the submissions.

UNIIB can receive submissions in English | French | Kirundi or Swahili
Secretariat and Contact

For any query relating to UNIIB or to provide information relevant to its mandate, please write to:

WhatsApp:   +257 72335639 / 72336638

Mailing address:
United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB)
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva
Phone: +257 79114926 / 79139506  

Website: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/UNIIB/Pages/UNIIB.aspx


Final report of the mission of independent experts to Burundi, A/HRC/33/37
20 September 2016
English | French

UNIBB will present an oral update to the Human Rights Council on 22 March 2016 and its final report to the 33th session of the Council, in 27 September 2016.

Oral update by Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Member of the United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB)
22 March 2016
English | French


Press briefings and releases:

Burundi: UN investigation urges strong action in light of gross, widespread and systemic human rights violations
English | French
20 September 2016

Burundi: UN experts call for concrete steps to end crisis
English | French
17 June 2016

Human rights in Burundi: UN Independent Investigation completes on-the-ground deployment
English | French
24 May 2016

Visit was first step in assessing human rights in Burundi: UN independent experts
8 March 2016

OHCHR Press Briefing
26 January 2016

More press releases...

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