Ahead of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council (12 September-7 October 2022), CIVICUS joins over 50 civil society organisations in calling the Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the United Nations Human Rights Council to renew the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Burundi.
At the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, in October 2021, the Council established a special procedure on Burundi. The new Special Rapporteur mandate includes critical monitoring, reporting, and technical advice components. The Council’s decision to discontinue the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) at the same time ended the only international mechanism tasked with investigating violations and identifying alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi with a view to ensuring full accountability. In this context and amid serious ongoing human rights concerns, it is vital that the Special Rapporteur is able to fulfil his mandate.
The Special Rapporteur who was appointed in April 2022, Mr. Fortuné Gaetan Zongo, presented his first update to the Council in June 2022. As he is still in the early stages of his mandate, he expressed his willingness to explore avenues for cooperation with the Government of Burundi, while emphasising that significant efforts were still needed in many areas, including the fight against impunity, strengthening institutions overseeing justice, policing and military sectors, and the opening of civic space. Mr. Zongo is due to present his first written report at the Council’s 51st session (12 September-7 October 2022).
We believe that all components of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate can contribute to improving Burundi’s human rights situation. We stress, however, that the Special Rapporteur needs time to fulfil his mandate. Ahead of the Council’s 51st session, we urge your delegation to support the extension of the Special Rapporteur’s mandate for a further year to ensure that the Council continues its scrutiny and pursues its work towards justice and accountability in Burundi.
Civic space in Burundi is rated as "Closed" by the CIVICUS Monitor