Human Rights Council

Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

19 September 2017

Statement by Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)

INTLawyers and GICJ notes the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi.

We welcome the Commission’s efforts to establish the facts about the situation of human rights in Burundi, but we regret the refusal of the government of Burundi to cooperation with the Commission. The work of the Council and its special mechanisms requires the cooperation of all States. We therefore urge Burundi to cooperate with the Commission.

Lacking such cooperation and lacking an improvement in the situation of human rights in Burundi, we welcome the recommendations of the Commission in paragraphs 111 to 114 of its report that are directed to the African Union. We strongly support the use of regional international organizations to promote respect for human rights, and in this case regional peace and security. We urge the Council to enhance its work with the African Union to encourage the cooperation with its special mechanisms and to ensure that human rights are protected in Burundi.

As concerns the recommendations made in paragraph 99 concerning the investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that was initiated in April 2016 focusing on acts of killing, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, and enforced disappearances allegedly committed since April 2015 in Burundi. Could the Commission indicate what the status of Burundi is before the ICC. Namely has Burundi formally notified the Court of its intention to withdraw? What is or would be the effect of such a withdrawal on the ongoing investigation?

Thank you,

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