EAC integration

CAVIB sues Burundi government to EACJ

The collective of lawyers defending victims of international law crimes committed in Burundi-CAVIB has brought the case of the seizure of property belonging to some Burundians in exile to the East African Court of Justice.

The East African Court of Justice

Cyriaque Nibitegeka, one of the CAVIB lawyers, says they decided to appeal to the East African Court of Justice- EACJ because the decision taken by the Burundian justice “violates the law especially the rights to property and law on how cases related to crimes are heard”.

Mr. Nibitegeka says the EACJ has the rights and ability to verify if decisions taken in a given country member of the East African Community comply with the EAC treaty. “We do not trust the Burundian justice,” he adds.

He also says they asked the EACJ to overturn the decision that was taken by the Burundian Justice and compensate all those who may have been victims.

In a joint declaration signed on May 15, 2019, the President of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General of the Republic of Burundi demanded that the “movable and immovable property” of 32 people in exile be seized and exploited by the State.
Buildings and apartments of 9 high-ranking army and police officers who are jailed were also seized and “put into the State’s patrimony”.

Many of those 32 people are leaders of the opposition parties and civil society believed to be the driving forces behind the demonstrations against the re-election of President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015 and independent journalists also living in exile. They are all accused by the government of Burundi of taking part in the failed coup attempt of May 13, 2015.