Republic of Burundi
Republique du Burundi/
Republika y'u Burundi
Joined United Nations: 18 September 1962
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 01 April 2013
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality
due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death
rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age
and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 201
3 est.)
Pierre Nkurunziza
President since 26 August 2005
Paramount ruler elected by and from the hereditary rulers of nine of
the states for five-year terms; election last held on 28 June 2010

Next scheduled election: 2015
According to the Burundian Constitution, the President is both the
Chief of State and Head of Government
Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Christian 82.8% (Roman Catholic 61.4%, Protestant 21.4%), Muslim 2.5%, Adventist 2.3%, other 6.5%, unknown 5.9% (2008
Republic with 17 provinces; Legal system is based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted
compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Executive: The president is elected by popular vote to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); note - the constitution adopted in
February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the parliament; elections last held 28 June
2010 (next to be held in 2015); vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by parliament
Legislative: Bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats,
60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a National Independent Electoral
Commission to ensure ethnic representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats;
34 members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms, with remaining seats assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of
elections: Senate - last held on 23 July 2010 (next to be held in 2015); National Assembly - last held on 23 July 2010 (next to be
held in 2015)
Judicial: Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal (there are three in separate locations);
Tribunals of First Instance (17 at the province level and 123 small local tribunals)
Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Origins of Burundi are known from a mix of oral history and archaeology. There are two main founding legends for Burundi. The
one most promoted today tells a tale of a Rwandan named Cambarantama founding the nation. The other version, more common in
pre-colonial Burundi, says that Cambarantama came from the southern state of Buha. The notion of Rwandan origins for the
kingdom was promoted by the European colonizers for it fit their ideals of a ruling class coming to the area from the Hamitic
northeast. The theory has continued to be the semi-official dogma of the modern Burundian state. Historians doubt the Hamitic
origins of the Tutsis, but it is still believed that their ancestors migrated from the north to what is now Burundi in the 15th century.
The first evidence of the Burundian state is from 16th century where it emerged on the eastern foothills. Over the next centuries it
expanded, annexing smaller neighbours and competing with Rwanda. Its greatest growth occurred under Ntare Rugamba, who
ruled the nation from about 1796 to 1850 and saw the kingdom double in size. The Kingdom of Burundi was characterized by a
hierarchical political authority and tributary economic exchange. The king, known as the mwami headed a princely aristocracy
(ganwa) which owned most of the land and required a tribute, or tax, from local farmers and herders. In the mid-18th century, this
Tutsi royalty consolidated authority over land, production, and distribution with the development of the ubugabire—a patron-client
relationship in which the populace received royal protection in exchange for tribute and land tenure. Although European explorers
and missionaries made brief visits to the area as early as 1856, it was not until 1899 that Burundi became a part of German East
Africa. Unlike the Rwandan monarchy which decided to accept the German advances, the Burundian king Mwezi Gisabo opposed
all European influence, refusing to wear European clothing and resisting the advance of European missionaries or administrators. The
Germans used armed force and succeeded in doing great damage, but did not destroy the king’s power. Eventually they backed
one of the king's sons-in-law Maconco in a revolt against Gisabo. Gisabo was eventually forced to concede and agreed to German
suzerainty. The Germans then helped him suppress Maconco's revolt. The smaller kingdoms along the western shore of Lake
Victoria were also attached to Burundi. Even after this the foreign presence was minimal and the kings continued to rule much as
before. The Europeans did, however, bring devastating diseases affecting both people and animals. Affecting the entire region,
Burundi was especially hard hit. A great famine hit in 1905, with others striking the entire Great Lakes region in 1914, 1923, and
1944. Between 1905 and 1914 half the population of the western plains region died. In 1916 Belgian troops conquered the area
during the First World War. In 1923, the League of Nations mandated to Belgium the territory of Ruanda-Urundi, encompassing
modern-day Rwanda and Burundi, but stripping the western kingdoms and giving them to British administered Tanganyika. The
Belgians administered the territory through indirect rule, building on the Tutsi-dominated aristocratic hierarchy. Following World
War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a United Nations Trust Territory under Belgian administrative authority. After 1948, Belgium
permitted the emergence of competing political parties. Two political parties emerged: the Union for National Progress (UPRONA),
a multi-ethnic party led by Tutsi(*) Prince Louis Rwagasore and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC) supported by Belgium. In
1961, Prince Rwagasore was assassinated following an UPRONA victory in legislative elections. Full independence was achieved
on July 1, 1962. In the context of weak democratic institutions at independence, Tutsi (*) King Mwambutsa IV established a
constitutional monarchy comprising equal numbers of Hutus and Tutsis. The 1965 assassination of the Hutu prime minister set in
motion a series of destabilizing Hutu revolts and subsequent governmental repression. In 1966, King Mwambutsa IV was deposed
by his son, Prince Ntare V, who himself was deposed by his prime minister Capt. Michel Micombero in the same year. He
abolished the monarchy and declared a republic. A de facto military regime emerged and civil unrest continued throughout the late
1960s and early 1970s. In late April 1972, a Hutu attack on a hill locality, situated in the south of the country, where most military
officers were born, triggered a military reprisal. In 1976, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza took power in a bloodless coup. Although
Bagaza led a Tutsi-dominated military regime, he encouraged land reform, electoral reform, and national reconciliation. In 1987,
Major Pierre Buyoya overthrew Col. Bagaza. He dissolved opposition parties, suspended the 1981 constitution, and instituted his
ruling Military Committee for National Salvation (CSMN). In 1991, Buyoya approved a constitution that provided for a president,
nonethnic government, and a parliament. Burundi's first Hutu president, Melchior Ndadaye, of the Hutu-dominated Front for
Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) Party, was elected in 1993. He was assassinated by factions of the Tutsi-dominated armed
forces in October 1993. In April 1994, President Ntaryamira and Rwandan President Juvénal Habyarimana died in a plane crash.
This act marked the beginning of the Rwandan genocide, while in Burundi, the death of Ntaryamira exacerbated the violence and
unrest, although there was no general massacre. On July 25, 1996, the government was overthrown in a coup led by Buyoya. The
civil war continued, despite the efforts of the international community to create a peace process. Progress has been made since
2001, when a power-sharing government was created, and in 2003, Domitien Ndayizeye, the Hutu vice-president, became
president as mandated by the power-sharing agreement. A series of elections, held in mid-2005 were won by the former Hutu rebel
National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD). Former President
Ndayizeye and his political supporters were arrested in 2006 and accused of plotting a coup, but later he was acquitted by the
Supreme Court. International human rights groups claimed that the current government was framing Ndayizeye by torturing him into
false confessions of the coup plot. Along with these accusations, in December 2006 the International Crisis Group labeled Burundi’s
government with a “deteriorating” status in its treatment of human rights. The organization reported that the government had arrested
critics, muzzled the press, committed human rights abuses, and tightened its control over the economy, and that “unless it [reversed]
this authoritarian course, it risk[ed] triggering violent unrest and losing the gains of peace process.” citation. In February 2007, the U.
N. officially shut down its peacekeeping operations in Burundi and turned its attention to rebuilding the nation’s economy, which
relies heavily on tea and coffee but suffered severely during 12 years of civil war. The U.N. had deployed 5,600 peacekeepers
since 2004, and several hundred troops remained to work with the African Union in monitoring the ceasefire.
The Republic of
Burundi held legislative elections on 4 July 2005. Approximately 30 political parties and independents competed for 100 seats in the
National Assembly. Voting was largely peaceful throughout the country during election day. Observers deemed the polls generally
free, fair, and transparent.The Republic of Burundi held an indirect presidential election on 19 August 2005. Members of the
National Assembly and Senate chose the new president of the republic, who will serve term of five years. The sole candidate, Pierre
Nkurunziza of the CNDD-FDD, was overwhelmingly endorsed as president by the parliament. Nkurunziza was sworn in on 26
August 2005. A presidential election was held in Burundi on 28 June 2010. As a result of withdrawals and alleged fraud and
intimidation, the incumbent was the only candidate. A legislative election for the National Assembly was held in Burundi on 23 July
2010. The opposition parties boycotted the election after also boycotting the presidential election. Elections are slated for 2015.

Source: Wikipedia: History of Burundi
Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly
agricultural; agriculture accounts for just over 30% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary
exports are coffee and tea, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings, though exports are a relatively small share of
GDP. Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee
and tea prices. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000
refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15
adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Less than 2% of the population has electricity in its
homes. Burundi's GDP grew around 4% annually in 2006-12. Political stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows
and economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, a
poor transportation network, overburdened utilities, and low administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms.
The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept up with inflation. Burundi will remain
heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors - foreign aid represents 42% of Burundi's national income, the
second highest rate in Sub-Saharan Africa. Burundi joined the East African Community in 2009, which should boost Burundi's
regional trade ties, and also in 2009 received $700 million in debt relief. Government corruption is hindering the development of a
healthy private sector as companies seek to navigate an environment with ever changing rules.
Source: CIA World Factbook (select Burundi)
The political landscape of Burundi has been dominated in recent years by the civil war and a long peace process and move to
democracy. The current President of Burundi is Pierre Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader of the Hutu National Council for the
Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy who was elected unopposed as the new President of Burundi by the
parliament on 19 August 2005. Nkurunziza was the first president chosen through democratic means since the start of the civil war
in 1993 and was sworn in on 26 August, replacing transitional president Domitien Ndayizeye.

In November 1995, the presidents of Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zaire (currently Democratic Republic of Congo) announced a
regional initiative for a negotiated peace in Burundi facilitated by former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere. In July 1996, former
Burundian President Buyoya returned to power in a bloodless coup. He declared himself president of a transitional republic, even as
he suspended the National Assembly, banned opposition groups, and imposed a nationwide curfew. Widespread condemnation of
the coup ensued, and regional countries imposed economic sanctions pending a return to a constitutional government. Buyoya
agreed in 1996 to liberalize political parties. Nonetheless, fighting between the army and Hutu militias continued. In June 1998,
Buyoya promulgated a transitional constitution and announced a partnership between the government and the opposition-led
National Assembly. After facilitator Julius Nyerere's death in October 1999, the regional leaders appointed Nelson Mandela as
Facilitator of the Arusha peace process. Under Mandela the peace process has revived and important progress has taken place.

The Republic of Burundi held legislative elections on 4 July 2005. Approximately 30 political parties and independents competed
for 100 seats in the National Assembly. Voting was largely peaceful throughout the country during election day. Observers deemed
the polls generally free, fair, and transparent.The Republic of Burundi held an indirect presidential election on 19 August 2005.
Members of the National Assembly and Senate chose the new president of the republic, who will serve term of five years. The sole
candidate, Pierre Nkurunziza of the CNDD-FDD, was overwhelmingly endorsed as president by the parliament. Nkurunziza was
sworn in on 26 August 2005. A presidential election was held in Burundi on 28 June 2010. As a result of withdrawals and alleged
fraud and intimidation, the incumbent was the only candidate. A legislative election for the National Assembly was held in Burundi
on 23 July 2010. The opposition parties boycotted the election after also boycotting the presidential election. Elections are slated
for 2015.
Source: Wikipedia: Politics of Burundi
Burundi and Rwanda dispute two sq km (0.8 sq mi) of Sabanerwa, a farmed area in the Rukurazi Valley where the
Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965; cross-border conflicts persist among Tutsi, Hutu,
other ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in the Great Lakes region
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
Refugees 35,213 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2011)
IDPs: 78,796 (the majority are ethnic Tutsi displaced by inter-communal violence that broke out after the 1993 coup and fighting
between government forces and rebel groups; no new displacements since 2008 when the last rebel group laid down its arms)
None reported.
Ligue Burundaise des
Droits de L'Homme
2011 Human Rights Report: Burundi
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
11 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
25, 2012

The Republic of Burundi is a democratic, multiparty republic. The 2005 constitution provides for an executive branch that reports to the
president, a bicameral parliament, and an independent judiciary. In June 2010 voters reelected President Pierre Nkurunziza, and in July
2010 they selected a new National Assembly (lower house) in elections that international observers found largely free, fair, peaceful, and
consistent with international standards. The armed forces and other security forces reported to civilian authorities. While observers
considered the military generally professional and apolitical, the intelligence service and the police tended to be influenced directly by and
responsive to the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy party (CNDD-FDD).

During the year the main human rights abuses included torture and extrajudicial executions of detainees, particularly of members of
certain opposition political parties, by police, military, and intelligence services; prolonged pretrial detention of detainees, often without
formal charges, in overcrowded, harsh, degrading, and sometimes life-threatening prison conditions; and a lack of judicial independence.

Other human rights abuses included interference with and intimidation of government officials and political opposition members by
certain members of the ruling CNDD-FDD party and the intelligence and police services. The political rights of certain opposition
political parties--including the right to hold party meetings--were restricted arbitrarily, and members of these parties were detained and/or
threatened and intimidated. Some journalists and members of civil society and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) critical of the
ruling CNDD-FDD party and government were the objects of harassment and intimidation. Corruption existed at all levels of
government. Women and girls suffered from violence and discrimination, and children and women were trafficked. Forced child labor
also existed.

The general reluctance and slowness of police and public prosecutors to investigate and prosecute--and of judges to hear--cases of
government corruption and human rights abuse led to a widespread perception of impunity for government and ruling CNDD-FDD party
officials and agents. In many cases investigative and judicial officials hesitated to act as a result of bribes or threats to themselves or their
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Burundi: UN independent expert welcomes appointments to new Human Rights Commission
GENEVA (23 May 2011)

The United Nations Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Burundi, Fatsah Ouguergouz, welcomed several positive human
rights developments during his second mission to the country from 16 to 20 May.

These include the initial steps taken by the Government towards establishing transitional justice mechanisms, the effective start of
investigations on extrajudicial killings by an adhoc Commission, and the appointment last week of the seven members of the newly
established National Independent Human Rights Commission.

“I met with most of the new members during my visit last week and reminded them that this long-awaited Human Rights Commission
was granted with a broad mandate to investigate human rights violations and that people of Burundi and the International Community
were keen to see this Commission play a key role in promoting and protecting human rights in the country,” said Mr. Ouguergouz, who
commended the authorities for the appointments.

He also welcomed the release on Monday 16 May of Jean-Claude Kavumbagu a journalist and human rights defender detained since July
2010 and expressed hope that this would lead to a decrease of pressures and intimidations against journalists and human rights defenders.

However, the expert also drew special attention on several documented cases of extrajudicial executions, torture and politically motivated
arrests. “I stressed my concerns at the recent increase of alleged extrajudicial killings and urged the authorities to investigate all human
rights violations without delay,” he said. “The Government has to demonstrate its commitment to fight against impunity.”

In addition to his meetings with national authorities and representatives of the civil society in Bujumbura, the UN Independent Expert
visited prison facilities in Ngozi, where he raised his concern at the prolonged preventive detention for many inmates and at the poor
prison conditions. “In spite of a slight improvement in pre-trial detention, more than 55% of detainees are still waiting to be heard by a
Court,” he noted.

“In light of fact that prisons are dramatically overpopulated and that detainees are held in sometimes degrading conditions, I called on the
authorities to take all necessary measures to remedy this situation, including avoiding the detention of individuals that do not present a
danger to society,” Mr. Ouguergouz said.

The UN Independent Expert will report on his findings at the next session of the Human Rights Council in June and will participate in an
interactive dialogue on the human rights situation in Burundi.
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Burundi Gives Life Sentence to Journalist for “Terrorism”
Jun 21 2012 - 3:01pm

A Burundi court’s decision to sentence a journalist to life in prison on terrorism charges for simply interviewing an alleged terrorist
shows a flagrant disregard for press freedom and sets a dangerous precedent in a country already hostile toward the media.  

Hassan Ruvakuki, a reporter for Radio France International (RFI), was arrested in November 2011 after leaving the country to interview
the leader of a Burundian rebel militant group based in neighboring Tanzania that later launched an armed attack on a town in Burundi.  
The prosecution argued that this amounted to complicity in the attack, according to Reuters.  Ruvakuki denied the charges and plans to
appeal.  Freedom House calls on Burundi to ensure a fair and speedy appeals process, and urges officials to uphold the freedom of the
press by letting journalists do their jobs without fear of harassment and unwarranted prosecution.

Twenty-one other men were also sentenced on terrorism charges in Wednesday’s ruling, with thirteen receiving life sentences, and the
rest being sentenced to fifteen years.  

Burundi is rated Not Free in Freedom House’s Freedom of the Press 2012 survey.  The country suffers from sporadic violence,
corruption, and deep disputes between political factions, and journalists frequently get caught in the middle.  In 2010 officials cracked
down on Radio Publique Africaine (RPA), which favored an opposition political party.  One journalist was beaten with bricks by police
officers on his way home; another was detained, supposedly for illegally transporting weapons.  The last two years have seen a surge in
the number of journalists being detained while covering the ongoing violence in the country.
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Suggested recommendations to States considered in the 15th round of the Universal Periodic Review, 21 January – 1 February
19 November 2012
Recommendations to the government of Burundi

National Independent Human Rights Commission
To continue to strengthen and support the independence and work of the CNIDH, by providing
adequate resources for transport,
communication and
the establishment of regional offices.

Impunity for past human rights violations
To revise and enact at the earliest opportunity a TRC law that complies with international human
rights law and standards and stipulates
that there
can be no amnesty for crimes under international law;
clearly proposes a Special Tribunal with an independent prosecutor after the TRC has completed its
work; and includes the appointment
of international
To take all necessary steps to establish a Special
Tribunal with the powers to determine individual criminal responsibility for crimes
under international law committed between 1962 and 2008 in trials
which meet international fair trial standards.

Extra-judicial executions by security forces
To request judicial authorities conduct prompt and
full investigations into all extra-judicial executions committed by security services
and, where there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecute
those responsible;
To publish the findings of the national commissions
of inquiry established to investigate extra- judicial executions;
To immediately establish and fund a national witness and victim support programme to allow
witnesses of political killings to testify
about such crimes, including those involving state agents.

Torture and other ill-treatment
To suspend from duty members of the PNB and SNR suspected of being involved in torture and ill-treatment, as well as the officials
who order or condone such crimes regardless of their rank, pending
an impartial and independent criminal investigation;
To initiate independent and impartial criminal investigations into all alleged cases of torture and ill-treatment, make the outcome of such
public, and prosecute all SNR, PNB and other state agents involved in such crimes;
To sign and ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

Arbitrary arrest and pre-trial detention
To refrain from using arbitrary arrest to silence critics.
Harassment of human rights activists and journalists
To refrain from intimidating human rights defenders
and journalists, including through the arbitrary use of judicial summons and threats
in the media, on account of their legitimate human rights work.
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World Report 2013: Burundi
World Report Chapter - Jan 10 2013

Human rights in Burundi in 2012 present both progress and serious concerns. For example, the number of political killings decreased in
2012 after a sharp escalation in 2011, but political space remains restricted. The Burundian government failed to address widespread
impunity, especially for members of the security forces and the youth league of the ruling National Council for the Defense of
Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD). The report of a commission of inquiry, set up by the prosecutor
general to investigate cases of extrajudicial executions and torture, acknowledged that killings had occurred, but concluded that they did
not constitute extrajudicial executions.

There were very few arrests or prosecutions for politically motivated killings, and in the incident that claimed the largest number of
victims in 2011—the attack at Gatumba resulting in 39 deaths—the trial of the alleged perpetrators was seriously flawed. Several leading
opposition figures remained outside the country, and the CNDD-FDD continued to dominate the political scene.

Civil society organizations and media continued to investigate and publicly denounce human rights abuses; however, freedom of
expression was constantly under threat. State pressure on journalists and civil society activists continued, as the government counted
them among the political opposition. Draft legislation placing new restrictions on media freedoms was tabled before parliament in

The National Independent Human Rights Commission continued to work in an independent manner, expanding its representation in
several provinces and investigating reports of human rights abuses.

Political Killings
Political killings diminished significantly in 2012, but there were sporadic attacks by armed groups as well as killings of members or
former members of the opposition National Liberation Forces (FNL). Despite repeated promises to deliver justice for these crimes, the
government failed to take effective action to do so. In the vast majority of politically motivated killings, thorough investigations were not
carried out, and there were no arrests or prosecutions. Impunity was particularly pronounced in cases where the perpetrators were
suspected to be state agents or members of the Imbonerakure, the youth league of the CNDD-FDD.
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Burundi / Human Rights: Audience granted to the delegation of the African Court on Human Rights
Bujumbura, 22 May 2012

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Relations and International Cooperation, Mr. Gérard NTAHORWAROYE
BIKEBAKO, received in audience this Monday, May 21, 2012, a delegation of the African Court on Human Rights headed by Mr. Gerard
Niyungeko, President of the Court. Their discussions focused on the role of this Court is an institution of the African Union. Gérard
Niyungeko stated that Burundi is among the first countries to ratify the African Charter on Human Rights and one of the first countries
that have elected a judge of this Court. He also stressed that Burundi has many pleaded with the African Union for this Court becomes

He further pointed out that the purpose of their displacement in Burundi is to ask the Government of Burundi to consider the possibility
of resorting to the jurisdiction of the Court or to request an advisory opinion on the issues of Human Rights, Man, that would allow the
Court to fully play its role.

The Permanent Secretary, meanwhile, said that the Government of Burundi is very sensitive to issues of human rights, evidenced by a
series of institution established for this purpose. He cited in particular the Ministry responsible for Human Rights and the Independent
National Commission on Human Rights.

The President of the African Court on Human Rights then handed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of External Relations and
International Cooperation legal instruments of the African Court of Human Rights. -
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01 November 2011
Burundi’s S
ays No To Violence

Burundi’s Vice President officially launched a campaign to put an end to violence against women in November 2011 . The campaign
theme focuses on: “Peace at home, peace in the world: let us put an end to domestic violence”, echoing the message of the 16 Days of
Activism against Gender Violence Campaign.

UN Women representative in Burundi, Mr Muenda, warmly welcomed the Government’s initiative and congratulated “its help in decision
making regarding women, marginalized and vulnerable groups, victims of gender-based violence”.

Recently, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN Women, contributed  $903700 to support  the Ministry
of Human Rights and Gender of Burundi to implement the national strategy against gender-based violence. Spearheaded by the Ministry
of Human Rights and Gender, the multi-sectoral initiative will coordinate and strengthen the efforts of government ministries, policy-
makers, and civil society to end violence against women. Notable strategies include creating pilot “violence free zones”, instilling a sense
of accountability for violence in political leaders and the community, and mainstreaming issues of ending gender-based violence into
national planning and budgeting processes.

Symbolic events were scheduled throughout the country:

   The Information Center of United Nations organized on November, 23rd, a press conference led by the Minister of National solidarity,
Gender and Human rights, Madame Clotilde Nizigama, with the participation and intervention of Mr Muenda.

   For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence Campaign, information centers were established in four different regions in
Burundi by the Ministry in charge with Gender policies, in partnership with UN Women and the UN human rights office in the country.
Relevant issues were raised, including briefings on the gender violence situation in the country, explanations of the Universal Declaration
of Human rights, and interesting public debates were held on topics such as the role and influence of the media on ending violence
against women and girls.
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Burundi will he finally meet its commitments on the African Court?
FIDH, March 25, 2013
Burundi must ensure access to individuals and NGOs to the African Court

While the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights today begins a visit to Burundi awareness, FIDH and its member organization,
ITEKA, call the national authorities to take this opportunity to make firm commitments promoting access to justice for victims of
violations of human rights.

Our organizations call Burundi in particular to make the declaration under Article 34.6 of the Protocol establishing the African Court to
finally allow individuals and NGOs in Burundi, in case of exhaustion of domestic remedies, to have a direct access to this forum to
denounce the state responsibility in cases of human rights violations.

In the absence of such a declaration, only the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR), other States Parties to the
Protocol and the African inter-governmental organizations may, under certain conditions, to the Court of a breach committed in Burundi.

"It is time that Burundi, the State party since 2003 Protocol establishing the Court honors its commitments contributing to its
effectiveness and efficiency. These two requirements necessarily require respect for the right to access to justice for victims of
violations, one of which is the direct extensions declaration under section 34.6, "said Joseph Ndayizeye, President ITEKA .

The adoption in 1998 of the Protocol establishing the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights was a major step forward for the
protection of fundamental rights. Operational since early 2009, the Court has a mandate to ensure compliance by States parties to the
Protocol, the provisions contained in the African and international instruments for the protection of human rights. This judicial body
whose decisions are binding, in this sense complementary to the ACHPR it reinforces the protection mandate.

However, nearly 10 years after the adoption of the Protocol establishing the Court, only half of African states have ratified, including 5
[1] have so far made the declaration under article 34.6 . This low proportion of States allowing individuals and NGOs to appeal directly
to the Court seriously undermines the effectiveness of this instance however desired and implemented by States. Thus, the first decision
by the Court in 2009, in a case involving the State of Senegal, has resulted in a declaration of incompetence. The Court has since
received 14 requests contentious and declared itself incompetent in the majority of cases already treated.

"The optimism about the prospect of a body can do justice to African victims of violations of human rights has unfortunately given way
to disappointment at the lack of concrete commitment of the African States for a truly Court protective. Therefore, the declaration under
article 34.6 made by a State such as Burundi, whose populations have had to deal with violations, often serious, human rights, seems
essential to strengthening the rule of law in this country, "said Mabassa Fall, FIDH Representative to the African Union.
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Therence Sinunguruza (Tutsi)
First Vice President since 29 August 2010
None reported.
Gervais Rufyikiri (Hutu)
Second Vice President since 29 August 2010