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Burundi: Commission of Inquiry calls on Government to open channels of communication

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28 September 2018

French | Kirundi

GENEVA (28 September 2018) - The Commission of Inquiry on Burundi notes with satisfaction the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council to extend its mandate for another year. This decision will hopefully mark the beginning of a new chapter in the relationship between the Commission and the Burundian authorities, based on the principles of cooperation and dialogue that prevail in this Council to which Burundi is a member.

"The Commission reaffirms its willingness to cooperate with the Burundian government and all relevant stakeholders who are concerned by the human rights situation in Burundi. We call on the Government of Burundi to seize this opportunity and to engage in a constructive dialogue with the Commission", says Doudou Diène, the president of the Commission of Inquiry.

Since its establishment by the Human Rights Council in September 2016, the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has collected close to a thousand testimonies from victims, witnesses or alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses. Today, the Commission is the only international mechanism in a position to carry out investigations on the prevailing human rights situation in the country, in an independent, impartial and rigorous manner.

In its report, published on the 5th of September, the Commission of Inquiry noted with alarm the persistence of serious human rights violations, some of which constitute crimes against humanity. The Commission also expressed concern regarding the near total impunity enjoyed by State agents and the Imbonerakure (the youth members of the ruling party) involved in these acts.

"In the run-up to the 2020 elections, the Government of Burundi must make a firm and unequivocal commitment to put an immediate end to the human rights violations committed in the country. The authorities must also prosecute the alleged perpetrators and provide victims with the assistance and care they need”, insists Doudou Diène.

ENDS

Background

The Commission of Inquiry on Burundi was created on September 30, 2016, by resolution 33/24 of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Its mandate is to conduct a thorough investigation of human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi since April 2015, identify alleged perpetrators and make recommendations. The Commission is composed of three members: Doudou Diène (Senegal), Lucy Asuagbor (Cameroon) and Françoise Hampson (United Kingdom).

2018 report and other relevant documents

Media contact: (Geneva) Claire Kaplun, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Tel: + 41-2 917 9056, email: ckaplun@ohchr.org

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