14 June 2017

Burundi: 'Burundi Expects Nothing Good From Geneva'

Photo: © 2016 Privé
There has been several reports on torture of detainees by security forces in Burundi.

Exiled civil society and the opposition are optimistic about the resolutions and recommendations that will come out of the session of the UN Human Rights Council due to start this Wednesday 14 . The case is not the same for Bujumbura.

On Friday, 2 June 2017, Willy Nyamitwe, Senior Advisor to the President in charge of communication together with Jean Claude Karerwa Ndenzako, Spokesperson for President Nkurunziza, held a debate on the expectations of the next session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is due to be held in Geneva from 14 to 15 June 2017.

The organizers of the debate say Burundi is not expecting anything good from the session. They already denounce that the oral report to be presented, will rather give a negative image of the situation of Human Rights in Burundi.

"With Geneva now, it is perhaps the last occasion to show that the country does not respect Human Rights, on the basis of biased reports", deplores Ambassador Nyamitwe. He further states "the Human Rights Council is being used against Burundi by trouble makers to attain their objectives».

Ambassador Nyamitwe said the Burundian government does not intend to send a delegation to present a counter-report. "The report presented in the previous session of the Council was not taken into account in the drafting of the final report," he explains.

Burundi rejects in advance the recommendations from the forthcoming session of Geneva because it will "validate what the EU has always said against Burundi to attain its objectives, that is, the destabilization of Burundi by a change of institutions through illegal processes ».

Divergence of opinions

Tatien Sibomana, a political opponent, is rather optimistic: "We hope the UN Council will present the state of the Human Rights situation in Burundi as it is, without hiding anything and without exaggeration." He calls on the members of the UN Council to make more constructive resolutions and recommendations for Burundi.

Mr Sibomana disapproved of the remarks by Ambassador Nyamitwe: "One cannot predict that the content of the report will be catastrophic for Burundi whereas it has not yet come out. But the Burundian government should prepare itself to present a counter-report to back it up with vivid evidence and examples". He goes on to say:" The Burundian government should be receptive and prepared to implement the Recommendations and Resolutions which will result from the next session.

Anschaire Nikoyagize, a human rights activist, goes in the same direction. This Human Rights defender said the security situation in Burundi remains worrying. He was surprised by the attitude of the Burundian government, which denies all reports: "One can not deny the contents of a report which has not yet been made public"

Hamza Venant Burikukiye, Spokesperson for the Civil Society Platform (PISC-Burundi), says the sessions are only aimed at destabilizing Burundi government. "We already decry the conclusions which will emerge from the session. The Council members are people who are manipulated and are neither neutral nor objective"

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