UN urges ICC to address crisis in Burundi
Publish date: 11 September 2017
Issue Number: 742
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
A UN commission of inquiry notes that crimes against humanity are being committed in Burundi. Francoise Hampson, one of the three investigators told the BBC that some of the alleged abuses included ‘arbitrary detention and arbitrary arrest, unlawful killings of various types, torture, cruel, inhuman, degrading treatment, rape and cases of sexual violence’. A report on the Deutsche Welle site notes that commission president Fatsah Ouguergouz expressed concerns about ‘the scale and the brutality of the violations’. ‘We also noted a lack of will on the part of the Burundian authorities to fight against impunity and guarantee the independence of the judiciary. As a result, there is a strong likelihood that the perpetrators of these crimes will remain unpunished,’ he said. Burundi has been plagued by political violence since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a disputed third term. The commission asked the International Criminal Court to open an investigation as soon as possible. Burundi's ambassador to the UN, Albert Shingiro, dismissed the report as part of an ‘international conspiracy’.