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Burundi: UN Independent Investigation to conduct second visit to assess human rights situation

GENEVA/BUJUMBURA (10 June 2016) – The three human rights experts of the United Nations Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB)* will conduct their second visit to Burundi from 13 to 17 June.

“This second visit will be an opportunity to assess the developments in the human rights situation that have taken place since our last visit in March and continue our discussions with all the relevant actors of the ongoing crisis,” said Christof Heyns, Chair of the Independent Investigation.

During their mission, the experts will meet with national authorities and other political actors. They will also hold meetings with members of civil society, victims of human rights violations, as well as with humanitarian organisations, including UN agencies, and international and regional partners operating in Burundi.

“Burundi is going through a difficult period. If the tough challenges the country is facing are not properly addressed, they may compromise the very important achievements obtained through the Arusha Agreements,” warned Pablo de Greiff. “One of the key aspects of our mandate is to help the Burundian State fulfil its human rights obligations, including by ensuring justice and accountability for the human rights violations and abuses that have occurred since the beginning of the crisis,” Maya Sahli-Fadel said.

The UNIIB is composed of Mr. Christof Heyns (South Africa), the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; Ms. Maya Sahli-Fadel (Algeria), the African Union Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons; and Mr. Pablo de Greiff (Colombia), the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence.

The Independent Investigation deployed human rights monitors to Burundi in May 2016, with the aim of helping the three human rights experts gather information on human rights violations and abuses committed in the country since April 2015. These monitors, who have just started a mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will also visit Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania over the next few weeks to collect information and interview Burundian refugees.

The experts will present their final report to the Human Rights Council during its 33rd session in September 2016.

ENDS

* The UN Independent Investigation on Burundi (UNIIB) was established by the Human Rights Council on 17 December 2015 (resolution A/HRC/S-24/1) to undertake “an investigation into violations and abuses of human rights with a view to preventing further deterioration of the human rights situation.”

For more information on UNIIB, please go to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/UNIIB/Pages/UNIIB.aspx

For media requests, please contact: Johel Dominique ( jdominique@ohchr.org / +257 79 13 95 06) or Jean Jacques Purusi (jpurusi@ohchr.org / + 257 79 114 926)

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