Burundi : Extend the Special Rapporteur’s mandate

18.08.2022

In partnership with over 50 NGOs, TRIAL International co-signed a letter to the Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council, asking for the renewal of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate.

A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council. 3 July 2015. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré

“At the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in October 2021, the Council established a special procedure on Burundi. The new Special Rapporteur mandate includes critical monitoring, reporting, and technical advice components. The Council’s decision to discontinue the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) at the same time ended the only international mechanism tasked with investigating violations and identifying alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi with a view to ensuring full accountability. In this context and amid serious ongoing human rights concerns, it is vital that the Special Rapporteur is able to fulfil his mandate. (…)

We believe that all components of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate can contribute to im¬proving Burundi’s human rights situation. We stress, however, that the Special Rapporteur needs time to fulfil his mandate. Ahead of the Council’s 51st session, we urge your delegation to support the ex¬tension of the Special Rapporteur’s man¬date for a further year to ensure that the Coun¬cil continues its scrutiny and pursues its work towards justice and accountability in Burundi. (…)

Since the Special Rapporteur’s mandate was operationalised, the human rights situation in Burundi has not changed in a substantial or sustainable way. (…)

Serious violations continue, including those that previously led the CoI to conclude that crimes against hu¬ma¬nity may have been committed. (…) Impunity remains widespread, particularly relating to the grave crimes committed in 2015 and 2016. Police and security forces, the National Intelligence Service (SNR), and the Imbonerakure (the ruling CNDD-FDD party youth wing) are responsible for most of these violations. (…)

In the absence of structural improvements and as grave human rights violations and abuses continue to be committed with impunity, the Council should adopt a resolution that reflects realities on the ground and ensures continued monitoring, reporting, and public debates on Burundi’s human rights situation. It should grant the Special Rap¬porteur the time he needs to fulfil his mandate and urge Burundi to cooperate with him, including by granting him access to the country.
At its 51st session, the Council should adopt a resolution that extends the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Burundi for a further year.”

Read the full letter in English

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