Human Rights Council
11-29 September 2017
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
The Commission of Inquiry on Burundi was created by Human Rights Council resolution 33/24, adopted on 30 September 2016, to conduct a thorough investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi since April 2015, to determine whether any of them may constitute international crimes and to identify their alleged perpetrators.
The Commission can confirm the persistence of extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and sexual violence in Burundi since April 2015. Most of these violations were committed by members of the National Intelligence Service, the police, the army and the youth league of the ruling party, commonly known as the Imbonerakure. The Commission emphasizes the scope and the gravity of the documented violations, which, in some instances, entailed serious physical and psychological trauma for the victims. Human rights abuses were also committed by armed opposition groups, but these proved difficult to document.
The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed in Burundi since April 2015.
Without a real willingness on the part of the Burundian authorities to combat impunity and guarantee the independence of the judiciary, the perpetrators of these crimes will remain unpunished. The Commission therefore requests the International Criminal Court to initiate, as soon as possible, an investigation into the situation in Burundi since April 2015.