Burundi


    Week in Review: ICC says no to Burundi impunity, DRC starts historic rape trial
    12.11.17
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.Net

    The International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate crimes committed in Burundi, announced on Thursday, was the highlight of this transitional justice week.  This ICC decision came just two days before Burundi’s withdrawal from the Court became effective on October 27. It is the first country to pull out of the ICC. The ICC Prosecutor had opened a preliminary examination into crimes committed in Burundi before Bujumbura announced it was leaving the Rome Statute. “By quitting membership of the Court, Bujumbura thought it would secure impunity,” writes our ICC correspondent Stéphanie...

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    ICC targets Burundi regime crimes
    10.11.17
    Stéphanie Maupas, correspondent in The Hague

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) has approved a full investigation into serious crimes committed in Burundi since April 2015, it announced on Thursday. This investigation will look into suspected crimes against humanity committed by the Burundian regime. The decision was taken on October 25, just two days before Burundi’s official withdrawal from the ICC. By quitting membership of the Court, Bujumbura thought it would secure impunity. The Court has said otherwise. Those in power in Bujumbura have now got a long-awaited answer from the ICC, which says the perpetrators of crimes against...

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    Burundi's deadly crisis: A timeline
    10.11.17
    AFP

    Burundi has been gripped by turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a bid for a third term in office more than two years ago. On Thursday the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened a full probe into alleged crimes committed during the crisis.  Between 500 and 2,000 people have been killed, according to different sources, and more than 400,000 people displaced from their homes. Here is a summary of key developments in the crisis in the central African country.   - Demonstrations start -   April 25, 2015: Nkurunziza is declared candidate for a third term by the ruling CNDD-FDD party. The following day thousands of protesters demonstrate in the...

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    Burundi and ICC: Chronicle of a divorce foretold
    30.10.17
    Louis-Marie Nindorera (Bujumbura)

     Burundi's withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) entered into force on October 27, 2017. It is the final act of a divorce proceeding that began well before it was formally notified to the UN Secretary-General, twelve months ago. Indeed, the circumstances under which in 2004, Burundi ratified the Rome statute had already the appearance of a marriage of convenience doomed to fail, at the first couple quarrel. Be that as it may, by becoming the first state to exit the ICC, Burundi is also opening the blank page of this Court's jurisprudence on the effects...

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    In Burundi, 'bye bye ICC'
    28.10.17
    AFP

    Thousands of Burundians on Saturday answered the government's call to celebrate the country's withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, cheering the "historic" day using slogans such as "bye bye ICC". Burundi on Friday became the first ever nation to leave the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal, set up some 15 years ago to prosecute those behind the worst atrocities on the planet. Burundi hailed it as a "historic" day and called on people to rally across the country on Saturday. Some 5,000 people -- including hundreds of drivers of bicycle taxis, motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks -- marched through the streets of the capital Bujumbura, singing and dancing to the sound of...

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    Burundi becomes first nation to leave ICC
    27.10.17
    AFP

    Burundi on Friday became the first ever nation to leave the International Criminal Court, set up some 15 years ago to prosecute those behind the world's worst atrocities. "Burundi's withdrawal from the Rome Statute will take effect on Friday, 27 October 2017," an ICC spokesperson told AFP. The move comes a year to the day after Bujumbura officially notified the United Nations that it was quitting the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal. Burundi on Friday hailed it as a "historic" day and called on people to demonstrate across the country on Saturday in celebration. "The ICC...

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    ICC : Burundi Embraces Impunity
    27.10.17
    HRW

    (Nairobi, October 27, 2017) – Burundi’s official withdrawal of its membership from the International Criminal Court (ICC) became effective on October 26, 2017, following its formal notification of its withdrawal to the United Nations secretary-general a year earlier. Under the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty, withdrawal takes effect one year after this notification. Burundi has been a state party to the ICC since 2004. Since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his controversial bid for a third term, government security forces and members of the...

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    “Embattled Burundi government using impoverished people as a rampart”
    04.10.17
    JusticeInfo.net

    In Burundi, repression has been directed at all democrats in the country since 2015, even if there has been some ethnic targeting, according to French sociologist and African Great Lakes specialist André Guichaoua. He says the core hardliners of embattled President Nkurunziza’s government are still trying to use the country’s “impoverished and pressurized population” as a rampart against perceived foreign threats. JusticeInfo spoke to André Guichaoua:   JusticeInfo: What is your assessment of the current human rights situation in Burundi? Is there still a risk of genocide as some observers...

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    African vote throws UN Burundi abuse probe into question
    28.09.17
    AFP

    The UN rights council voted Thursday to send experts to help authorities in crisis-wracked Burundi to investigate violations, casting doubt on whether an independent international probe would be allowed to continue. The resolution, presented this week by a group of African countries, was controversial since it came on top of a far stronger text previously tabled by the European Union, the United States and Canada. That resolution, which will be voted on on Friday, calls for the UN's Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which has accused the country's government of crimes against humanity -- including executions, torture and rape -- to continue its work. The African text, which passed...

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    Burundi government remains intransigent, says UN
    04.09.17
    Frédéric Burnand, correspondent in Geneva

    Despite numerous mediation attempts, Burundi’s government and President do not intend to talk to the opposition, and repression is continuing. The authorities are showing the same intransigence with regard to the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which has not been able to go to the country or hold talks with Bujumbura. Fatsah Ouguergouz, president of the Commission, gives this worrying assessment ahead of the final report which he is due to present to the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in mid-September. How hard it is to give up power, even when the Constitution...

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    Burundi becoming a 'violent dictatorship': report
    04.07.17
    AFP

    Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza and his ruling party have moved the country toward violent dictatorship, rights groups said Tuesday in a report that slams the international community for inaction. A "purge" of ethnic Tutsis from the army, a crackdown on opposition and media and a bid to change the constitution to allow unlimited presidential terms are signs of an "increasingly violent dictatorial regime", it said. The tiny central African state was plunged into political crisis in April 2015 when Nkurunziza announced his intention to run for a third term which he went on to...

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    UN says Burundi still torturing and killing opponents
    15.06.17
    AFP

    Burundi security forces and government-allied militia are continuing to torture and kill opponents, UN investigators said Thursday, allegations denied by the government. The investigators from the UN's Commission of Inquiry on Burundi have been denied entry to the country said there was a "feeling of deep and widespread fear" in more than 470 testimonies gathered from people who had fled to neighbouring countries. "Today we can say that our initial fears concerning the scope and gravity of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015 have been confirmed," the...

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    Burundi, a Country of Fear and Violence, says human rights activist Pierre Claver
    23.11.16
    Bénédicte Jeannerod

    For the past year and a half, the Burundian government has brutally crushed any form of dissent. Since the crisis  triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a controversial third term  began, hundreds of people have been killed and thousands arbitrarily imprisoned. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is one of Burundi’s most prominent human rights activists and founder of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH). In 2015, he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, believed to have been by Burundi’s intelligence services. Pierre Claver, who...

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    Transitional Justice Battlegrounds: Another Bad Week in Burundi

    Astrid Jamar joins JiC for this guest-post on recent developments regarding transitional and international criminal justice in Burundi. Astrid is a Research Assistant in Political Settlements Research Programmes at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Law. Transitional justice has been taken a number of worrying steps in Burundi. While the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is preparing for public hearings addressing crimes committed between 1962 and 2008, Burundi has been engulfed in political conflict since the controversial candidacy of Pierre Nkurunziza and his re-election for a...

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    Burundi walks away from the ICC
    21.10.16
    IRIN

    Burundi has become the first country to begin the process of withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, retaliation for the ICC’s decision earlier this year to open a preliminary investigation into human rights abuses.  President Pierre Nkurunziza signed legislation on Tuesday after lawmakers overwhelmingly voted for withdrawal from the ICC, which the government says backs a regime change agenda, masterminded by Western powers. The procedural steps for withdrawal are straightforward: Burundi only needs to write a letter of notification to the UN Secretary General, and then wait a...

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    Week in Review: Burundi and the ICC, UN concern in CAR, and DRC victims still waiting  
    17.10.16
    François Sergent, JusticeInfo.net

      The most notable event of the transitional justice week was Burundi’s decision to withdraw its membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The country’s parliament, which is subject to President Pierre Nkurunziza, voted overwhelmingly to do so, in the hope that Burundi’s leaders can escape prosecution by the Court for grave violations of human rights. An ICC pull-out by Burundi would be the first in the history of the Court, which has tense relations with African countries that think it is targeting them disproportionately.   Legally this move by Burundi, where there has been...

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    Burundi votes to withdraw from the ICC and interrupts its international cooperation, amid a backdrop of continued international crimes
    14.10.16
    FIDH

    (Paris, Bujumbura) FIDH and its member organisation in Burundi, ITEKA, regret the overwhelming vote by Burundian lawmakers on 12 October 2016 in favour of the withdrawal of Burundi from the International Criminal Court (ICC) Statute, to which it acceded in 2004. This decision, making Burundi the first State ever to withdraw from the ICC, comes just two days after the government announced it would suspend its cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, amid ongoing gross human rights violations in the country. Our organisations reiterate our call to...

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    Burundi lawmakers vote to quit ICC
    12.10.16
    AFP

    Burundian lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), taking the nation a step closer to being the first ever to quit the tribunal. The move is the latest snub of the international community by the central African nation, which has been mired in 18 months of violent political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term in office. Earlier this week Burundi declared three UN rights experts persona non grata and cut ties with the UN's main human rights body, after a damning September report detailing atrocities and...

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    Burundi crisis: from disputed polls to 'genocide' fears
    12.10.16
    AFP

    Burundi's move to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) has turned the spotlight on months of political turmoil and violence that raised fears of "genocide" in a nation with a history of ethnic conflict. Here are some keys to understanding 18 months of crisis in the central African nation: - How did Burundi's crisis begin? - In April 2015, President Pierre Nkurunziza, in office since 2005, announced his plan to run for a controversial third term, triggering protests which authorities banned before unleashing a bloody crackdown that left an estimated 80 people dead. In May, a...

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    Burundi wants to quit ICC to avoid possible charges
    07.10.16
    AFP

    Burundi announced plans Friday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a week after the UN began an enquiry into human rights abuses committed since April 2015. "It is perfectly clear that this is a plot to do harm to Burundi," said Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi's vice president, citing European Union "pressure" allegedly exerted on the UN, which opened a rights investigation a week ago. According to a list seen by AFP, the UN investigation is targeting a dozen members of the governing regime, including General Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, regarded as the second most powerful figure after President Pierre Nkurunziza. In April, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was...

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