UN Human Rights Council should renew the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Statement at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Delivered by Paul Mulindwa

Thank you, Madame President.

CIVICUS and independent Burundian civil society organisations welcome the work of the UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI) on Burundi, and its comprehensive report on situation of human rights in the country, which provides critical oversight. We urge the UN Human Rights Council to ensure continued scrutiny of Burundi through the renewal of this mandate.

There has been no improvement in the human rights situation in Burundi since the 2020 change in government. Civic space remains closed, with independent and critical voices, including civil society organisations and human rights defenders targeted. Lawyer Tony Germain Nkina, was sentenced to five years in prison as recently as June 2021. Several media outlets are still unable to operate due to restrictions. Many civil society activists and independent journalists remain in exile, while those in Burundi continue to face intimidation, detention, or trials on trumped up charges.

Armed clashes between members of the security forces, sometimes supported by the Imbnerakure, and members of armed groups, continue with increased attacks on civilians.

In light of this, we reiterate our calls on the Council to renew the CoI’s mandate to ensure continued monitoring and documentation of the human rights situation. We call on the government of Burundi to fully implement the 2020 electoral and presidential promises on improving the human rights situation in the country.

We thank you.

Civic space in Burundi is rated as closed by the CIVICUS Monitor


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