Press release on the launch of the fact-finding mission of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights in the Republic of Burundi

    A  Delegation of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Commission) established during the 57th Ordinary Session of the Commission has started a fact-finding mission to Burundi from 7 to 13 December 2015. The mission is launched following the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which in communiqué IV, PSC/PR /COMM.(DLI) requested the Commission to urgently undertake an in-depth investigation into the violation of human rights and other abuses against civilian populations in Burundi.

    The delegation  consists of:

    -        Honourable Commissioner Pansy Tlakula, Chairperson of the African Commission Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa and Head of Delegation;

    -        Honourable Commissioner Reine Alapini-Gansou, Special Rapporteur on Defenders of Human Rights in Africa;

    -        Honourable Commissioner Maya Sahli Fadel, Special Rapporteur on Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons and Migrants in Africa;

    -        Honourable Commissioner Jamesina King, Chairperson of the Working Group on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Africa;

    -       Honourable Commissioner Dr. Solomon Ayele Dersso, Chairperson of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violation  in Africa; and Focal Point on Transitional Justice.

    The Commission’s delegation will be accompanied by staff of the Secretariat of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

    Through series of meetings and consultations with various stakeholders in Burundi including the authorities of the Republic of Burundi, representatives of the media, CSOs and community leaders as well as affected individuals, the mission will investigate allegations of human rights violations and other abuses that took place in Burundi since May 2015 within the framework of Article 45 of the African Charter of Human Rights and Peoples' Rights (African Charter), which mandates the Commission to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

    The Terms of Reference of the Fact-Finding Mission include:

    ·          Investigate all the human rights violations and other abuses in Burundi since the beginning the crisis;

    ·         Establish the causes, facts and circumstances that precipitated and constitute such violations and abuses within the framework of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights as well as such relevant international humanitarian law rules;  

    ·         Specify and qualify the human rights violations and other abuses that emerged since the beginning of the current crisis;

    ·         Present those facts and information in its report and submit its findings to the PSC;

    ·         Outline in the report and propose to the PSC recommendations emanating from its investigations including on:

    -          The urgent steps to be taken for cessation of the ongoing human rights violations and abuses as an important step for deescalating the deepening crisis;

    -          The measures that the various stakeholders have to put in place to ensure that government security forces and all other armed and militia groups end the resort to the use of human rights violations and other abuses;

    -          How the human rights issues need to and can be adequately reflected in and addressed through the regional and African Union mediation efforts;

    -          Addressing impunity against those actors responsible for the human rights violations and other abuses and establishing their accountability; and

    -          The mechanisms for truth, healing and national reconciliation and the necessary institutional reforms including security sector and criminal justice administration reforms and the reform of the legislative and administrative regulation of freedom of association and expression

     

    At the end of the Facts-finding mission, the delegation will prepare a detailed report presenting its findings on the human rights violations and abuses and submit the report with recommendations to the Peace and Security Council.

     

    Done in Banjul, 7 December 2015

     

    For further information, please contact:

     

    The Secretariat of the African Commission on Human Rights and Peoples

    31 Bijilo Annex Layout, Kombo North District

    Western Region.

    P.o Box 673 Banjul, The Gambia

    Tel: 220 4410505/6

    Fax: 220 4410504

    E-mail: au-banjul@africa-union.org

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      Date: 09 December 2015

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