Burundi: IMC asks for greater involvement in refugee and IDP inquiries

NAIROBI, 21 January (IRIN) - The Implementation Monitoring Committee of the Arusha peace accord has urged the transitional government of Burundi and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to include it in visits to the interior aimed at identifying and resolving the major difficulties of repatriated and internally displaced people.
The appeal was among a list of 14 requests and recommendations made in a statement issued on Sunday by the committee, which held its 11th ordinary session from 13 to 17 January and its first extraordinary session on 18 January in the Burundi capital, Bujumbura.

It also urged the government to persevere with administrative and judicial reforms in accordance with the 28 August 2000 Arusha accord; recommended that the government expedite the release of people irregularly imprisoned, including those without proper case files; reiterated its demand that the government repeal as soon as possible all laws impeding political freedoms; asked parliament to adopt laws on provisional immunity, the repression of genocide crimes, war crimes, and other crimes against humanity as called for by the accord; and recommended that the president of the committee pursue efforts with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to establish an international judicial commission of inquiry.

Condemning all violations of ceasefire accords, the committee offered its congratulations on the progress made towards reaching an all-inclusive ceasefire, and invited the Agathon Rwasa's branch Parti de liberation du peuple hutu-Forces nationales de liberation to rejoin negotiations. It also underlined the urgency for deployment of the "African Mission" to supervise the ceasefire and called on all signatories and non-signatories to reach a technical agreement on forces before the Mission's arrival.


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