Burundian politicians diverge on extension of COI mandate

The UN Human Rights Council has extended the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi-COI. The decision is viewed differently by Burundian politicians.

Jean De Dieu Mutabazi/ Térence Manirambona

Térence Manirambona, Spokesperson for CNL party of the opposition says the renewal the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi will bring no added value to the Burundians “unless there is collaboration between the government and the commission”.

Mr Manirambona also says the good collaboration between the two will help the UN investigators to identify the government’s responsibility. Otherwise, he says, they will continue producing reports on violations of Human Rights committed in the country and the government will continue rejecting them.
This spokesperson for the main opposition party says “the Commission results will only contribute to the promotion of Human Rights if they really succeed to arrive in the country.”
The violation of human rights will persist in this period when Burundians are preparing for the 2020 elections, he adds.

As for Jean De Dieu Mutabazi, RADEBU Chairman, the renewal of the Commission of inquiry on Burundi was supported by the countries opposing sustainable democracy in Burundi.
“The Commission’s reports tarnish the country’s image given that the human rights situation has significantly improved since the past few months.

For him, the different national mechanisms for human rights should be supported to work in synergy.
On 27 September, the UN Human Rights Council in its 42nd session extended the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi “so that it can deepen its investigations”.

The EU resolution suggesting the renewal of the commission mandate was voted for by 23 countries while 11 others voted “Abstention” and 13 others voted against it.

Doudou Diène, Chairman of that Commission had expressed serious concerns related to the violations of human rights committed by the security forces, including the national intelligence services, the police and the Imbonerakure youths, in a persistent climate of widespread impunity.

The UN Human Rights Council appointed three UN investigators to investigate into all crimes committed since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for another term which sparked violence in the country.
In September 2018, Burundi government declared persona non grata the three members of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi accusing them of trying to destabilize the country by producing biased and politically motivated reports.