21 October 2017

Burundi: Wife of President Ndadaye Demands Justice for Her Assassinated Husband

On the occasion of the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye, his wife accuses the then judiciary of rendering a parody of justice. She asks the prosecutor to conduct thorough investigations into the murder of her husband.

On 21 October each year, Burundi commemorates the assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye, 3 months after his election in 1993. He was the first democratically elected president of Burundi. He is also known as the hero of democracy in Burundi.

His wife, Laurence Ndadaye accuses the judiciary of the time of rendering a parody of justice. "After his assassination, 79 defendants were arrested. 50 of them were released, 15 fled and 14 were imprisoned. Among those in detention, one dared to denounce that the trial that had just been rendered was a travesty of justice. Assassins of President Ndadaye have not been tried. Only the rank and file were tried while senior army officers were not," she says.

Mrs Ndadaye says she has lodged a file in the Court of Cassation and she is still waiting for justice to be rendered. "Ndadaye's family is waiting for the end of the trial, which has just lasted 18 years," she says.

She requests the Court of Cassation to ask the Attorney General to resume investigations into the assassination of President Ndadaye.

She also asks that the trial of her husband's assassination should not be transferred to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission [CVR]. "This trial is advanced," she says.

CVR was implemented by the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement signed in 2000 to end the civil war that erupted in 1993 after the assassination of President Ndadaye . The mission of CVR is to investigate crimes and human rights violation committed in Burundi from 1962 to December 2008.

"The goal to fight for human rights pursued by President Ndadaye has not been achieved since he got killed shortly after his election," says Mrs Ndadaye adding that she regrets that human rights are not sufficiently respected in Burundi."

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