Human Right

HRC42: Human Rights situation is alarming despite Burundi government’s denial

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has presented its briefing report in the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council. Participants deplore the alarming situation within the country though Burundian government denies it.

UN Human Rights Council

Doudou Diène, Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi has said the international community should be alerted on the running violations of the human rights on the eve of the 2020 elections. “Prevention is very important”, he said adding that the international community should focus on eight common risk factors identified by the commission as atrocity crimes and deterioration of the human rights in Burundi.

They include unstable political, economic and security environment, an overall climate of impunity; weakness of state structures, the existence of motives and intents to resort to violence; the capacity of different stakeholders to resort to violence and commit violations, the absence of mitigating factors, enabling circumstances and environment conducive to violence and human rights violation and the existence of triggering factors, in particular the holding of the 2020 elections as well. Doudou Diène has said the International community should refer to those factors of risk and prevent human rights violations in Burundi.

At eight months of the elections, the European Union remains deeply concerned by the persistence of human rights violations and restrictions on public freedoms in Burundi, in a climate of general impunity. “The findings of the Commission of Inquiry are extremely serious and require the attention of this Council and the entire international community,” said a EU delegate in the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Some countries like Russia, China, and Cameroon said the Commission and the Burundian government should look for another way of cooperation and partnership in the strict respect of national sovereignty. “The Commission should not be politicized”, said a Cameroon delegation in the session.

Tabu Rénovat, Burundi Permanent Representative in Geneva has said the Commission is a sounding board of the opposition. “The Commission has gone beyond the red line and the government will never agree upon biased and politically motivated report”, said Tabu. He also said the risk factors have been developed to influence the ignorance of humanity. “Burundi is ready for the 2020 elections. It is unnecessary to renew the Commission mandate”, he said.

The UN investigations conducted during three years have collected more than 1 200 statements from victims, witnesses and perpetrators of human rights violations. They also confirm that serious human rights violations have continued since May 2018.