By Patricia Jjuuko / GICJ
The newly appointed Special Rapporteur for Burundi, Mr Fortuné Gaetan Zongo, defined the human rights situation in Burundi as “not static but dynamic” with positive developments. On 29 June 2022, the Human Rights Council convened to discuss the human rights situation in Burundi. The Special Rapporteur noted with great satisfaction that since the beginning of his mandate, Burundi had engaged more openly with the international community, as seen by the lifting of sanctions by the European Union and the US. Notable efforts have been made by Burundi towards cooperating with regional and international actors, restrengthening the superior council of the legislature, and the reaccreditation with status A of the independent national commission for human rights. He further noted that over 5000 people held in detention had been granted pardons by the President of the Republic and highlighted the recent liberation of journalists and members of civil society groups. Mr Zongo echoed the need to establish frank dialogue and encouraged the international community to provide support to Burundi. He further assured the Council that he would cooperate with authorities in Burundi during the upcoming Universal Periodic Review.
The representative of Burundi stated that the country had made significant progress towards implementing reforms at the international, regional, and national levels in relation to social justice, freedom of expression, as well as the promotion of social-economic rights, and civil and political rights. The representative further stated that Burundi encouraged the Human Rights Council and the international community to demonstrate neutrality and objectivity in undertaking their responsibilities of strengthening the promotion of human rights across the world.
Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ) welcomes the progress made by authorities in Burundi towards improving the human rights situation in the country. We encourage authorities in Burundi to cooperate fully with the Special Rapporteur by implementing the recommendations given. GICJ calls on the international community to support Burundi towards the realisation of fundamental human rights.