The United Nations independent experts appointed to investigate violations of human rights committed during the ten-month crisis in Burundi, will be in the country on Tuesday, March 1, according to a statement from the UN High Commissioner for human rights released Monday.
The three experts, including the UN Human Rights Council who had requested to be dispatched since December 17, were mandated to “investigate violations and abuses of human rights in order to prevent deterioration of the situation”.
“Our goal is to help the state (Burundi) to fulfill its obligations on human rights and to establish accountability for violations and abuses of human rights, including identifying the perpetrators,” said South African Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.
We received a clear mandate from the Human Rights Council to help Burundi avoid the worst.
“We received a clear mandate from the Human Rights Council to help Burundi avoid the worst,” added Algerian Maya Sahli-Fadel, Special Rapporteur of the African Union on refugees, asylum seekers, displaced persons and migrants in Africa.
The third of these experts is the Colombian Pablo de Greiff, special UN rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
“The sending of this mission was not easy because the Burundian government initially created obstacles. The mission was made possible during the visit of the UN Secretary General in Burundi a week ago”, a UN personnel told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The fact-finding mission will present a preliminary report on March 21 and its final report in September.Burundi is immersed in a 10-month deep political crisis, born from the desire of President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in power for a third term, which he obtained in July.
According to the opposition, civil society and part of his camp, his re-election violates the constitution and the Arusha agreement that ended the civil war between 1993 and 2006 which saw 300,000 people dead.The armed violence have already killed more than 400 dead and forced more than 240,000 people to leave the country. Human rights organizations have denounced the existence of mass graves, many cases of executions and targeted killings.