15 September 2017

Burundi: Parliament to Examine UN Commission of Inquiry Report

Photo: HCR/Kate Holt
Dispaced people (file photo).

Burundi Parliament spokesman Alexis Badian Ndayihimbaze said on 14 September that the National Assembly has sent a letter to the Chairman of the UN Security Council informing him about the establishment of a special commission. The latter will assess the content of the report on Burundi published on 4 September by the UN Commission of Inquiry.

"If there are people accused of serious human rights violations, the National Assembly will report that to the government so that the alleged perpetrators should be punished according to the law," said Ndayihimbaze.

In the report, UN investigators called on the Internal Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate crimes against humanity committed by government officials in Burundi since 2015.

UN investigators accused Burundi government of crimes against humanity, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture.

This commission was established by the Human Rights Council following resolution 33/24 of 30 September 2016, with a one-year mandate to conduct investigations into crimes committed in Burundi since 2015.

According to Ndayihimbaze, if the accusations of the UN Commission are not proven, MPs envisage to file a complaint against the members of the Commission of Inquiry.

He insists on the principle of sovereignty. "The National Assembly in its capacity as an elected and legitimate institution representing the Burundian people, the sole holder of the sovereignty of the country, will present its report to the government," said Ndayihimbaze.

The National Assembly will recommend to the government to lodge a complaint in competent courts and tribunals against those who provide false information with a damaging impact on Burundi, says the spokesman for the National Assembly.

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