3 January 2018

Burundi: President Appoints Commissioners of National Observatory to Prevent Genocide

President Pierre Nkurunziza has recently appointed members of various national commissions including the National Observatory for the Prevention and Eradication of Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

Jean de Dieu Mutabazi, President of Burundi's Democratic Rally (RADEBU) was appointed to chair this national observatory. Joseph Sinabwiteye and Emérence Bucumi are the deputy chairman and secretary general of the commission respectively.

Article 274 of the national Constitution stipulates that this body is advisory. It is particularly responsible for regularly monitoring the evolution of Burundian society in relation to the risk of genocide, war crimes and other crimes against humanity as well as preventing and eradicating these crimes.

It will be in charge of suggesting measures to effectively fight against the impunity of crimes under international law, to promote the creation of a regional observatory, a national inter-ethnic front of resistance against these crimes as well as the globalization and collective guilt.

In addition, the observatory will have to promote the legislation preventing these crimes and follow their strict respect, propose policies and measures to rehabilitate victims of crimes.

The basic law also enjoins the members of this commission to contribute to the implementation of a vast program of awareness and education for peace, unity and national reconciliation.

As for some concerns that this commission has the same mission as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (CVR), the Minister of Interior, Pascal Barandagiye reassures:

"Their common point is the fact that CVR provides matters to the observatory," he said on Wednesday, August 9, during the analysis of the bill on the organization and mission of that observatory.

Unlike CVR which is limited to time, this new observatory is a permanent body. Only its members can be changed.

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