Bujumbura, 5 November 2007 (FH) - While officially launching Friday the Steering Committee (SC) in charge of the national consultations on transitional justice in Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza invited his compatriots not to fall into the trap of ethnic or regional globalization when they will express themselves on the crimes committed in the country since independence in 1962.   

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"There is no guilty ethnic group, there is no guilty region, it is necessary that, henceforth, the individual who committed a violation of human rights is prosecuted, without making his family, his ethnic group or his region feel guilty", President Nkurunziza warned.
"The awaited impact of these national consultations is that the Burundian people will finally, in particular the victims and the authors, be able to leave their stupor so that, finally, the truth on cyclical violence, which has pained our country, can be made clear", he continued. He also warned any person who will try to intimidate, directly or indirectly, those who want to express themselves in these consultations.
The Arusha Peace Accords of August 2000 planned the setting-up of a Special Tribunal (ST) for Burundi and of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which will inquire into the crimes committed in this country for more than forty years. They will then decide to open or not legal proceedings, by keeping in mind the reconciliation of people torn by several decades of political and social instability.
No date was scheduled on the beginning of operations of these two bodies. The comments of the population that will be collected during the consultation campaign of the steering comity will be taken into account. This committee is composed of six members: two representatives of the government, two from civil society and two from the UN. The consultation campaign should last "approximately six months", according to an agreement concluded between the government and the UN.

© Hirondelle News Agency