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Burundi Watch

Week 3 Report on Burundi

Civil society organizations have repeatedly raised concerns with the continued enforced disappearances and discovery of mass graves since May 2015. In December 2015, civil society protested the disappearance of 24 individuals and reports of their mass burial in Bugarama, in the District of Muramvya (Centre of Burundi), some 40 km from Bujumbura. Despite repeated calls to end these enforced disappearances, extra judicial killings and locate the mass graves, the government of Burundi remains uncooperative. The AU fact finding mission deployed in early December 2015 could not undertake any verification exercise as there was no cooperation from the Public General Prosecutor and the government of Burundi...

 

From February 22, 2016, Burundi was under spotlight as the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban

Ki moon and the African Union High Level Delegation visited Burundi. The visits were aimed

at securing acceptance by the Government of Burundi to take part in an inclusive dialogue.

President Nkurunziza affirmed his commitment and that of his government to an inclusive

dialogue, including release of an estimated 2000 prisoners.1 A presidential decree (n°100/41)

was issued to release the prisoners on February 23, 2016,2 excluding those who were

arrested and detained in respect of anti-third term demonstrations which started on April

26, 2015. On December 30, 2015, President Nkurunziza declared that 6000 individuals had

been arrested3 and majority of them are awaiting trial. Regarding inter-Burundian dialogue

which is expected to resume in March 2016 under facilitation of President Museveni,

President Nkurunziza has refused to include those individuals accused of the attempted coup

of May 13, 2015. These individuals are frequently labelled terrorists by public authorities.

The AU High Level Delegation visited from February 25 to February 26, 2016 and met

several stakeholders. In his final statement, South Africa President Jacob Zuma declared4 that

Burundi committed to inclusive dialogue, whereas the AU will deploy one hundred human

rights observers and one hundred military monitors to Burundi to monitor the situation. It is

worth recalling on December 17, 2015 the AU Peace and Security Council had decided the

deployment of a 5000 strong peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and prevent any

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