OHCHR Press Briefing / Burundi


26 January 2016

In accordance with a resolution* adopted by the Human Rights Council on 17 December requesting the High Commissioner “to urgently organize and dispatch on the most expeditious basis possible a mission by independent existing experts”, we set up a team comprising two UN Special Rapporteurs and a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The experts have been mandated by the Council to swiftly investigate violations and abuses of human rights in Burundi, make recommendations on the improvement of the human rights situation and to engage in a dialogue with the authorities and other relevant actors of the ongoing crisis.

Given the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Burundi and the request for an oral update to the Council at its next session in March,  the High Commissioner had requested the Government of Burundi to allow the team to start its first mission to Burundi yesterday (25 January).

However the team was not able to deploy due to the lack of response to date from the Burundian authorities.

We regret this delay and fear that it might hamper the ability of the team to fulfil its mandate and report in an appropriate and timely manner to the Council. We hope the Burundian authorities will take all the necessary steps, including granting of visas, to allow for the prompt deployment of the experts on the ground.

The three experts are:

  • Mr Christof Heyns (South Africa), UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions;
  • Ms. Maya Sahli Fadel (Algeria), Member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and  Special Rapporteur on refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants of the same institution; and
  • Mr Pablo de Greiff (Colombia), UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.


* The text of resolution A/HRC/S-24/L.1  is available here: