Press release on PBF support to AU in Burundi: UN Peacebuilding Fund Finances African Union Human Rights Observers in Burundi (04.05.2016)

Burundi Violence

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 4, 2016Thirty-two (32) African Union human rights observers will be able to continue their work in Burundi for another six months after the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) transferred $2.26 million to the African Union Commission late last week, the AU and the PBF announced today.

This is the first time the PBF provides direct support to the African Union Commission and it represents a move toward strengthened cooperation between the UN and the AU in peacebuilding, in line with the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly and Security Council last week, calling on the UN to strengthen its cooperation with the AU and other regional organisations.

In this latest round of financing, the PBF also supports the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi with just over $300,000 for training and joint monitoring missions with the AU.

The observers were deployed in response to the decisions of the African Union Peace and Security Council of 14 May 2015 and 13 June 2015, expressing its concern with the increased cases of human rights abuses in Burundi. They are tasked with observing, monitoring and documenting human rights violations in the country as well as human rights advocacy with the government.

The observers have been deployed since July 2015 with funding support from the European Union, which is also supporting the AU military experts in Burundi. The PBF funds cover 32 human rights observers’ presence from April to September 2016. Their deployment is the second step in the AU’s planned deployment of 100 human rights observers and 100 military experts.

This support builds on existing PBF financing for human rights in Burundi. Human rights have been one of the key areas of PBF support to Burundi from the initial stages of PBF engagement in 2008. The AU and the PBF welcomed this fruitful cooperation and hope that the presence of the AU human rights observers will help to reduce the violations of human rights in Burundi.

UN Security Council Resolution on Western Sahara of 28.04.2016 (S/2016/401)

Western Sahara Resolution Draft 28.04.2016 P1Western Sahara Resolution Draft 28.04.2016 P2Western Sahara Resolution Draft 28.04.2016 P3Western Sahara Resolution Draft 28.04.2016 P4

UN human rights commissioner calls for investigation into alleged police brutality (Youtube-Clip)

“United Nations Human Rights Country Representative in Uganda Dr. Uchenna Emelonye calls for an independent investigation into alleged Police brutality in Uganda” (United Nation Human Rights Uganda, 2016).

Confidential: Note to the Security Council on Contigency Planning for Uniformed Personnel related to the Situation in Burundi (06.01.2016)

Security Council Note P1 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P2 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P3 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P4 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P5 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P6 UN BurundiSecurity Council Note P7 UN Burundi

International reactions to the assassaination plot and killings in Burundi

Burundi Cartoon

If this is not interesting and see how the government and multi-national organizations reacts to the continuations of violence from the Government towards its opponents. The staggering fleeing of people to neighbor countries and the escalations of killings should be put on the map and be addressed.

Nyamitwe 061115

THE AFRICAN UNION REITERATES ITS CONCERN ABOUT

THE SITUATION IN BURUNDI

Addis Ababa, 4 November 2015: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, reiterates the AU’s deep concern about the situation obtaining in Burundi. She notes the continuation of acts of violence and the increase of statements that are likely to further aggravate the current situation and create conditions for more instability, with devastating consequences for Burundi and the whole region. She expresses the AU’s strong condemnation of all acts of violence and violations of human rights, as well as of all statements that can inflame the situation.

Against this background, the Chairperson of the Commission reminds all concerned Burundian stakeholders that the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), at its 551st meeting, held on 17 October 2015, decided, in support of the efforts aimed at finding an early and consensual solution to the crisis facing Burundi, to impose targeted sanctions against all Burundian actors whose action and statements contribute to the persistence of violence and impede the search for a solution. The Chairperson of the Commission stresses, once again, that only an inclusive dialogue, bringing together all Burundian stakeholders, will enable Burundi to overcome the serious prevailing challenges and prevent the situation from totally undermining the gains made since the signing of the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation. She urges the Burundian authorities and other concerned actors to demonstrate the sense of responsibility that the situation demands and to place the interests of the Burundian people above any other consideration.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s support to the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, on behalf of the East African Community (EAC), and urges the Government of Burundi and all the other concerned stakeholders to lend him their full cooperation.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights statement:

“I unreservedly condemn the killing of the son of one of Burundi’s most prominent human rights defenders, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, in Bujumbura earlier today. This is second member of Mbonimpa’s family to have been killed in recent weeks. Welly Nzitonda was reportedly arrested by police this morning around 11 a.m. His body was found this afternoon in the neighbourhood of Mutakura. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa himself narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in August 2015 and is still undergoing treatment abroad. One of his sons-in-law was also killed on 9 October” (OHCHR, 2015).

“Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa Thomas Perriello will travel to Burundi November 8-11 to express urgent concerns over the political and security crisis there. He will communicate the U.S. government’s alarm at violence by government and non-government actors inside of Burundi, and the recent dangerous rhetoric by the Burundian government surrounding the expiration of President Nkurunziza’s five-day ultimatum to turn over all illegal arms. He will also call for all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to follow through on commitments to dialogue” (…)”The Envoy also intends to visit Uganda, Rwanda, and Ethiopia between November 11 and 18, to consult with regional leaders on restoring stability to Burundi and emphasize the United States’ belief that a comprehensive, inclusive dialogue, as laid out in the AU’s October 17 communique, is the best means of doing so” (US GOV, 2015).

Belgium Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynards Statement 6th November:

“Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders is shocked by the murder of Welly Fleury Nzitonda, son of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, the human rights activist who took refuge in Belgium. This murder follows that of his son-in-law, Pascal Nshimirimana. Tens of anonymous victims already died because of the instability in recent months. The Minister expresses his sympathy to the family of Pierre Claver Mbonimpa and to the people of Burundi.  The death of Mr. Nzitonda illustrates once again that incitement to hatred and violence can have tragic consequences. The Minister noted with deep concern the public statements in this regard. These brought to memory the darkest pages in the history of Burundi. The Minister calls on all parties, both from government and opposition, to exercise utmost restraint in declarations and to avoid new violence at all costs”.

Hey! What do you think about it? Peace!

Reference:

OHCHR – ‘Comment by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Burundi killing (06.11.2015) link: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Media.aspx#sthash.bqxnw4Hf.dpuf

 

US GOV – ‘Special Envoy Thomas Perriello’s Travel to Burundi and the Great Lakes Region’ (06.11.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/11/249291.htm

UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner – Alleged execessive use of Force and Degrading treatment by Uganda Police Force (20.10.2015)

OCHR Uganda

Burundi – The fresh reports of torture from Amnesty and proof that it’s old habits from the regime in the country

Burundi Report Police

There was released a report on torture of citizens in Burundi in recent year from CSO Amnesty the 24th of August. This here has been described I will take the defining characters of this from that report, but also some older documentation to prove that this isn’t new actions from the Governmental and Security organizations in Burundi. In 2006 the Committee from International Service from Human Rights commented on the torture matters already then. After that I will look on what numbers and anti-torture project where the purpose was: “Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture”. And the projects are telling from the USAID in the same period. USAID had also a monitoring period that ended in 2007 that gives some interesting insights to the methods of torture. United Nations has made a review of the situation when it comes to torture as well in 2014. So that Amnesty International is telling stories that everybody who cares about Human Rights should read all of the personal stories. I have taken the big picture from the report that was delivered from the organization on the 24th of August 2015. Which also shows to the works of the UN and OHCHR and describing the matters and sadness of how the police and other units treats its citizens who demonstrate against the government. It should be stopped and international community should do something about it. Though it’s an issue that is continuation from 2006 and I am sure earlier then that while in war, an CNDD-FDD promised to lead with the USAID projects to shun this activities, but certainly hasn’t with the reports released recently. Read under the quotes and outtakes from a set of reports and some of the pieces from Amnesty.

Reports from 2005 and so on:

“The Committee criticised the lack of a definition of torture in Burundian domestic legislation. The delegation admitted that while Burundi officially endorses the definition contained in the Convention, their criminal code does not define torture, nor is torture as such criminalised. In practice, torture is treated as an ‘aggravating circumstance’ and pursued on the basis of ‘infliction of bodily harm’” (…)”Both country rapporteurs underlined that the legislation prohibiting torture must not only cover physical torture (which is the case as long as torture is prosecuted under the category of ‘bodily harm’), but needs to extend to psychological and mental torture. The Committee drew the delegation’s attention to the obligation States have to initiate investigations into cases of torture. Mr Camara said that given the lack of a domestic legal basis, prosecutors in Burundi did not have a clear incentive to investigate cases of torture” (…)”the National Intelligence Service (NIS). It is responsible for the collection of date in order to protect the state security of Burundi. It can also carry out police functions and arrest people. According to the State report, the NIS is one of the main institutions involved in cases of torture. The Committee repeatedly expressed concern about this situation. Mr Mariño said the NIS seemed to have a dual mandate and be responsible for political oppression; it needed to be reformed, monitored and made accountable to the judiciary. Mr Camara asked if NIS officers could be sanctioned by the PPS; the delegation confirmed this with reference to ongoing cases. The delegation agreed that the NIS had too many prerogatives and specifically asked for recommendations on how to curb its power” (…)”In reference to the prohibition of the use of evidence obtained through torture, the delegation referred to a supreme court judgement which prohibits such evidence from being used in court. However, a Committee member pointed out that this particular decision is ambiguous since it says that “a confession is not proof in itself, but merely a piece of evidence that must be corroborated by other evidence”. The Committee felt this could be construed so that evidence extracted through torture could be used if supported by other evidence (Human Rights Series, 2006).

Turning to concrete cases, some Committee members asked about further information on a massacre which had taken place at Gatumba. The delegation responded by saying that it had issued a report which attributed the responsibility for the massacre to members of the armed movement PALIPEHUTU-FNL” (Human Rights Monitor Series, 2006).

What USAID has worked on a long while and had programs with:

“IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Search for Common Ground (SF CG), Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), Ligue ITE KA, Association pour la Protection des Droits Humains et des Personnes Détenues (APROD H)

FUNDING PERIOD: March 2003–September 2005

AMOUNT: $1,700,000

PURPOSE: Effectively build capacity for sustainable support to victims of torture; and prevent future incidences of torture” (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Trauma healing: Eighteen Healing Memory Group activities (785 participants) held to provide psychological healing for victims. 372 victims of torture received psychological support and 567 received medical services; 289 referred to partners; 750 transported to medical facilities (Victims of Torture Fund, USAID, 2005-2006).

Social Reintegration: Twenty-seven victims associations created. Thirteen ongoing series of monthly healing sessions/retreats with 1,636 participants (Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

Funding/Year 2002 2004 2005 Total
USD In:  Thousands of Dollars 1,200 500 1,200 2,900

(Victims of Torture, USAID, 2005-2006)

Print

USAID has continued to follow up the country and reports on Torture between October 2007 – September 2011. Here is their findings and what they have received of information on the matter: “Human rights. The project worked to strengthen the institutional capacity of civil society organizations, particularly those focused on women, to advocate for gender-based violence, victims of torture, and conflict management. By launching campaigns and engaging in effective discourse with the government and the media, civil society groups were able to open up about the sensitive and often dangerous nature of supporting human rights, which led to increased awareness and understanding” (…)”Victims of torture. In Burundi, torture continues to be practiced and victims have had little recourse because those in positions of authority, such as public security agents, presidential police, soldiers, local government officials, and rebel groups have all practiced torture without being held accountable for their actions. Through its activities, the project has been able to help Burundians open up a public dialogue and raise awareness about the problem of torture, a subject that over the years had become taboo in many parts of society” (…)”Victims of torture consortium. One organization cannot influence change alone, and working in the anti-corruption or human rights arena can be dangerous. Thus to strengthen advocacy against torture in Burundi, the project convened civil society organizations working in human rights and torture to start a dialogue on what is needed in this area and propose the idea of creating a consortium. The project worked via the consortium structure to coordinate these various and extensive activities. At subsequent meetings, the number of civil society organizations more than doubled and by the time the consortium, Consortium Action Contre la Torture (CACT), was incorporated it represented most of Burundian civil society working in human rights, with 26 organizations and government entities. The consortium, designed to coordinate advocacy for the eradication of torture in Burundi, identified priorities for reform when the consortium was first formed” (…)”Victims of torture grants. The project allocated 18 grants to civil society organizations in Year 2; eight of them provided medical and legal assistance to 453 victims of torture. The project provided medical, psychosocial healing, and legal and judicial assistance. The grants were provided to organizations with previous experience in this area, and they were able to work in cooperation with other grantees as well as in the consortium against torture. The most pressing need for a victim of torture is medical assistance. Many victims are debilitated or prevented from working due to the injuries, and others live with the physical scars and residual pain. The assistance consisted of providing victims medicine, hospitalization, and specialized care. Seven grantees provided medical assistance to victims in various provinces. One example of the medical services provided by grantees is the work done by ACAT, an organization that carried out medical services in 26 communes” (…)”In addition to being physically traumatic, torture is also emotionally and psychologically traumatic. Even if physical scars heal, there are lasting psychological effects. The project created a support group that fostered an atmosphere of empathy, affection, and security that victims greatly appreciated — especially significant because most victims never dared to speak about their experiences” (…)”In Year 4, project grantee ABDP-DRS advocated for the use of alternative sentencing to imprisonment in accordance with a law of 2009. By meeting with decision-makers, including prison authorities, police, and judges to present data from a survey, ABDP-DRS was able to provide information on alternative sentencing. It also organized prison visits so that police and judges could see the current conditions of the prisons to which they were sentencing perpetrators. Action Chrétien Contre la Torture (ACAT) also received a grant to continue advocating decision-makers and judiciary actors. ACAT equipped judges, judiciary police, and prison officers with information gained during site visits of detention centers in 11 provinces to evaluate the torture cases, living conditions for detainees, and the application of the penal code regarding torture” (Burundi Policy Final Reform, 2007).

When we see earlier what the UN has scaled on the State of torture in the State of the Burundi. The UN commented this on the issues that were at hand in 2014:

Legislative measures for the prevention of torture

  1. While noting that an absolute prohibition of torture is established in the Constitution, the Committee is concerned at the numerous shortcomings of the organization and command structure of the country’s security services, particularly the Burundian National Police (Police nationale du Burundi) and the National Intelligence Service (Service national de renseignement). These services are still governed by presidential decrees, whereas the Constitution provides that they be governed by the necessary legal framework. While noting that article 31 of the State party’s Criminal Code establishes that an order from a superior officer cannot be used as an argument by the defence in a case of torture, the Committee remains concerned about the effective implementation of that provision (arts. 2, 6 and 16)” (United Nations, 2014).

The United Nations continues with this:

“The absolute prohibition of torture” (…)”The State party should, as a matter of urgency, take steps to incorporate provisions into its Military Criminal Code that establish that acts of torture and ill-treatment committed by military personnel constitute an offence, that such offences are not subject to any statute of limitations and that the sentences for such offences are irreducible. The provisions to be incorporated into the Code should also establish appropriate penalties” (…) “The Committee is alarmed by credible, corroborative and persistent reports of a large number of acts of torture and extrajudicial killings committed by members of the Burundian National Police and the National Intelligence Service. It is concerned about the slow pace and limited scope of the investigations and judicial proceedings that have been opened in this connection, which would appear to corroborate claims that the perpetrators of these acts enjoy impunity. The Committee also finds it regrettable that no information about cases that have gone to trial or the outcome of those trials has been forthcoming. It is also concerned at the absence of protection for victims and witnesses, who are subject to reprisals (arts. 2, 4, 6, 7, 12 and 14)” (…)”The Committee is alarmed at the appalling conditions of detention in places of deprivation of liberty. It deplores, in particular: the high levels of prison overcrowding; the failure to separate male prisoners from female prisoners, adults from minors and persons awaiting trial from those already sentenced; the shortage of beds and sleeping space; the poor sanitary conditions; the dilapidated state of the facilities; prisoners’ inadequate and unbalanced diet; and the lack of health care. It further deplores the death of 263 inmates, inter-prisoner violence and the sexual violence against women and minors perpetrated by other inmates and guards. Lastly, the Committee is concerned about the continuing practice, in the State party, of detaining patients in hospital for non-payment of fees” (…)”While taking note of the fact that article 289 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure provides for the compensation of victims of torture, the Committee expresses its concern at the failure to apply this provision, in violation of article 14 of the Convention” (…) “The restrictions on the right of assembly and demonstration imposed by law enforcement bodies and reports of cases involving the violent suppression of demonstrations resulting in the excessive use of force by the authorities, for example during the protests of March 2014” (…)“The serious human rights violations perpetrated by a youth group (referred to as the Imbonerakure) with close ties to the Government, including: the harassment of political opponents; the disruption of public meetings, acts of intimidation, arbitrary arrests and arbitrary detention and other acts of violence; and the use of so-called “amicable” arrangements for settling disputes. The Committee is deeply concerned by reports that the Government is providing this group with weapons and training” (United Nations, 2014).

brigade_de_recherche_et_dintervention_judiciaire

Amnesty has in recent reports on how the torture has been from May 2015:

“Both the SNR and the Burundian National Police (PNB) are responsible for torture and other ill-treatment. Former detainees described being beaten with branches, iron bars, and police batons; and being stomped on, threatened with death, denied medical care, and verbally abused. In one particularly horrific case, a five-litre container full of sand was hung from a man’s testicles, causing enormous pain and swelling, and then the man was made to sit in a shallow layer of what he believed was battery acid, burning his skin severely” (…) “In and after the demonstration in April 2015 this has happen: “The police response to the demonstrations was marked by a pattern of serious violations, including of the right to life, freedom of association and peaceful assembly. They used excessive and disproportionate force, including lethal force, against protesters, at times shooting unarmed demonstrators running away from them. Even where children were present during demonstrations, police still failed to exercise restraint, and used tear gas and live ammunition” (…)”The cases of torture and other ill-treatment under SNR detention documented here all took place at the SNR compound near Bujumbura’s cathedral” (…)”In early June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi told Amnesty International they had documented nearly 50 cases of torture and other ill-treatment. On 7 July, the UN Secretary General’s report on the electoral observation mission in Burundi stated that “some 307 people have been arrested, including 14 minors. Most of those arrested have been subjected to torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment by security officers (mainly police and intelligence agents)” (…)”According to information received from lawyers, when individuals previously held by the SNR have alleged torture before court, the evidence obtained under such circumstances did not appear to have been declared invalid in spite of clear provisions in the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure. To date, there is no investigation and nobody has been arrested for torture at the SNR” (…) “However, the Burundian Code of Criminal Procedure makes provision for a detainee to remain silent if his lawyer is not present and for a detainee to communicate freely with his lawyer.16 A leading Burundian human rights organization, the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained People (APRODH), is no longer granted access to the SNR’s compound. At least one detainee says that he signed a document under duress” (…)”A man held at the SNR was also told by other detainees that the Imbonerakure had given information to the police for their capture” (…)”several testimonies of torture and other ill-treatment at a place known as Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura. According to a policeman and UN human rights monitors, Chez Ndadaye is an operational command centre for the police.36 It is known as Chez Ndadaye because the presidential palace that housed President Melchior Ndadaye, the country’s first democratically elected president and first Hutu president, once stood there” (…)”According to the first policeman and two victims, demonstrators were not kept overnight at Chez Ndadaye, but were beaten there before being transferred to the judicial police and/or police stations” (…)”The OHCHR carried out a planned visit to Chez Ndadaye on 12 June 2015, but did not observe any torture or beatings at the time” (…)”One policeman told Amnesty International some policemen are frustrated by the situation. He explained: “Several policemen are not happy about what takes place at Chez Ndadaye and have complained to their superiors. Most of the perpetrators are those who were previously in the bush (ex-FDD). They beat protestors. Maybe around 10 people came through Chez Ndadaye every day. Police used their batons and electric wires to beat them. They’d say ‘you who are against Nkurunziza, you are wasting your time, he’ll be president forever’,” (Amnesty, 2015).

Aftermath:

I don’t really want to comment more on the issues. Because the reports on reports are really telling its own tale, I will not add much on it. Then it’s a sad story of real men and woman who is scared and hurt for their position in society. That the UN, USAID, OHCHR and Amnesty reports from 2006-2015 is telling a vivid stories and painful facts. Too many victims of the government and police of Burundi, they all deserve a voice, they all deserve justice and a society where this wouldn’t happen. Instead the Police and Government of Burundi is going after their own people without prosecution and trial. Putting them in shackles, pushing them in cells and hurting them in places like Chez Ndadaye in Bujumbura and that is not the only house and police institution that is being used in a vile place. So no matter what people are being unjustified threaten and punished by the police and security forces in Burundi. There should be something the world could do to stop this systematic and unjust ways. Not just in writing and councils reviews of the United Nations, but in actual forum that can change the President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and the regime of the country. That is the issue and it’s not easy especially with the ways that the president got “elected” into the third term. Pierre Nkurunziza will always be remembered in a unique way and essentially with the shunned sworn-in celebration in mid-August 2015. An also for the reports of torture that the police and security organizations are doing as well in his presidency as well, which isn’t a beautiful view. Peace.

Reference:

AFR 16/2298/2015 – ‘“JUST TELL ME WHAT TO CONFESS TO”, TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT BY BURUNDI’S POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE SERVICE SINCE APRIL 2015’ (24.08.2015) – Amnesty International

CAT/C/BDI/CO/2 – ‘Concluding observations on the second periodic report of Burundi’, Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Committee on Torture (12.12.2014) – United Nations

Human Rights Monitor Series – ‘COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE 37TH SESSION BURUNDI, INITIAL REPORT’ (2006), International Service for Human Rights

‘BURUNDI UNDER REVIEW BY UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSAL PERIODIC REVIEW: RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING JUSTICE MATTERS’, Commonwealth Human Rights Intiative

USAID – ‘BURUNDI POLICY REFORM FINAL REPORT October 2007 – September 2011 (12.09.2011) – This publication was produced for review by the United States Agency for International Development. It was prepared by Chemonics International.

USAID – ‘VICTIMS OF TORTURE FUND PORTFOLIO SYNOPSIS 2005–2006’, Victims of Torture Fund, U.S. Agency for International Development

WikiLeaks Series – Pre-2010 General Election in Burundi: Part Four

This here now will be a part of series of WikiLeaks discoveries on Burundi. For people who are not part of the Francophone world a lot of the information here will be new. Therefore I choose to drop it. It will be all pre 2010-Election in Burundi. This series will be directly about the preparation of the 2nd term of President Pierre Nkurunziza and his party the CNDD-FDD. This is part IV. Enjoy!

Radjabu and UPD history:

“Hussein Radjabu fought in the bush with President Pierre Nkurunziza and Chief of Intelligence Adolphe Nshimirimana, reportedly appointing them to the roles in the CNDD-FDD that they parlayed into their current positions. In 2002, he created the UPD-Zigamibanga as a strategic alternative when, before beginning demobilization, the CNDD-FDD was still negotiating political party registration” (…) “In February 2007, the CNDD-FDD party congress ousted Radjabu, a move most observers believe was to strengthen Nkurunziza’s control of the party. Police arrested Radjabu and a group of his supporters in April 2007, charging them with “threatening state security.” In April 2008, Radjabu was found guilty and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment (ref A); subsequent appeals have been denied. After the trial, Radjabu’s lawyer, Prosper Niyoyankana, claimed the trial did not proceed according to the rule of law, but according to the goals of the ruling party. He stated, “In this case, the judges are tools for the ruling party like a pen in the hands of a writer.” (…) “The UPD’s president is Radjabu’s cousin Mohamed Feruzi, but Radjabu is openly acknowledged as the party’s true leader. The UPD’s representative in Makamba province, Egide Ndayizeye, referred to Radjabu as the party’s “advisor,” informing PolOff during a June 24 meeting that “Father Radjabu” remains very active from jail” (…) “Nevertheless, in the past Radjabu has reportedly courted and received monetary support from donors in Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia, Libya, the Sudan and Iraq” (…) “Egide Ndayizeye claims people are turning from the CNDD-FDD because of the party’s failure to fulfill its promises and to the UPD because the party promises development, peace and reconciliation. Ndayizeye stated that since the UPD’s July 2008 start in Makamba province, the party’s popularity has grown to over 80% in Nyanza-Lac and 70% in Makamba, the province’s two largest cities. Nyanza-Lac is also the fourth-largest city in Burundi” (…) “Sources indicate that Radjabu has never forgiven his former bushmates and colleagues for his expulsion and cares more that Nkurunziza’s CNDD-FDD falls from power than that UPD achieves any significant electoral victories for itself” (…) “Radjabu’s 13-year sentence was harsher than most observers expected, leading to speculation that President Nkurunziza’s administration used its influence to sideline and silence Radjabu (ref A) before the 2010 election process moves into high gear” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

FBI investigated the murder on Manirumva:

“Government of Burundi in investigating the murder of anti-corruption NGO OLUCOME’s vice president and chief investigator, Ernest Manirumva (ref A); the GoB accepted the offer April 21. In an April 28 meeting with Special Agent Horton and the RSO, however, Stanislas Nimpagaritse, the president of the Independent Commission assigned to investigate the case, refused to show Horton the evidence accumulated to that point, stating that he had no orders to do so” (…) “Horton and the RSO met with 1st Vice-President Yves Sahinguvu on April 29 to clarify the FBI,s role” (…) “he could to ensure that the FBI was given complete access to all evidence and received full cooperation from the Commission. He underscored the GoB,s commitment to conducting a thorough, transparent investigation, fully aided and supported by the FBI, to demonstrate that the process is genuine” (…) “The Manirumva murder has caused serious concern among the international and NGO communities, and inspired a strong sense in this conspiracy-prone nation that the government or some elements thereof are behind it. Manirumva was known to be investigating cases involving corruption at high levels among the police, intelligence services, Finance Ministry and others. Consequently, the news that the GoB had accepted the offer of FBI assistance was greeted with significant relief and hope that the real perpetrators and their masters – whoever they are – will be brought to justice” (…) “The 1st Vice President, who discussed the FBI assistance offer with President Nkurunziza, seems genuinely committed to pursuing the case wherever it leads. He clearly understood that an FBI report stating that the GoB was uncooperative in the investigation would feed the conspiracy theorists and convince the public that the government was indeed behind the assassination” (…) “Horton discovered that the victim,s cell phone records stopped at 19:00 the day of his murder, although it is believed that the murder occurred sometime after 23:00. When asked why the records did not cover the hours immediately surrounding the murder, police dismissed the records gap and stated without further explanation that the later records were somehow more difficult to obtain, and that the police were still waiting on the phone company to deliver them. One witness, however, claims that he saw a man in a police uniform at the victim,s home make a phone call to the victim,s phone well after 19:00. Similarly, the president of the Commission summarily dismissed a report from an eyewitness stating that he saw eight men, three wearing police uniforms, in the victim,s house the night of the murder. However, two informants currently external to the police investigation corroborate this story, and say that they believe the powerful intelligence service and police were involved” (…) “President Nkurunziza is using the FBI,s arms-length investigation to rid himself of the now too-powerful head of internal security Adolphe Nshimirimana (who may well be implicated); or whether the President and 1st VP genuinely want to find the murderers; the FBI is distinct value added to this process” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

Human Rights worker in the country:

“Eighty UN human rights employees work for the two administratively different but operationally seamless human rights agencies in Burundi. In addition to the 40 employees based at the headquarters in Bujumbura, 40 employees work in one of five field offices based in the interior of the country” (…) “The UN has done a great job establishing effective communication with GOB security forces. Each week, in coordination with civil society, the UN leads a meeting with police, intelligence, and military representatives to discuss and follow up on investigations and alleged human rights violations by security forces” (…) “The UN is doing extensive rehabilitation of Burundi’s judicial infrastructure throughout the country, and is providing logistical and financial assistance to the judicial branch to help expedite the overwhelming backlog of cases facing the court system. Thousands of cases remain to be handled, but thousands more have already been processed” (…) “Critics in civil society argue that the integration of the OHCHR into BINUB has prevented the UN from being more outspoken in criticizing GOB actions, as BINUB tries to limit its political exposure. For example, BINUB is part of a group of international actors negotiating the provisions of a cease-fire agreement between Burundi’s last rebel group, the FNL, and the GOB. According to one civil society critic, in order for the UN to maintain its “neutrality” in the negotiations, it cannot be overcritical of the government, lest it find itself on the wrong side of the GOB and no longer an effective negotiator” (…) “high-ranking Hutu member of President Nkurunziza’s staff told the director of UN human rights operations in Burundi that the UN and its agenda is manipulated by its mostly Tutsi local staff and therefore not reliable. Opposition parties’ representatives also told Embassy officials in January that even if UN human rights criticisms complement their own condemnations of the ruling party, it is difficult to assess if the UN has a meaningful impact” (Wikileaks, 2009).

Electoral code:

“Minister Nduwimana’s proposal has the electoral process beginning with presidential elections and calls for multiple ballots – one for each candidate” (…) “In the 2005 elections a separate color-coded ballot was used for each candidate, which the CNDD-FDD claimed helped illiterate voters select their preferred candidates. In those elections, CNDD-FDD local leaders pressed voters to return their unused ballots, thus revealing their votes” (…) “Opposition party leaders have often predicted that the CNDD-FDD would push for presidential elections first, saying that President Nkurunziza is more popular than his party and CNDD-FDD candidates in subsequent local elections would gain momentum from Nkurunziza’s popularity. CNDD party president Leonard Nyangoma and FRODEBU spokesperson Pancrase Cimpaye informed Embassy officials on July 16 that the GoB’s proposed Electoral Code amendments, in addition to violating the spirit of the consensus-building project, also violate Burundi’s constitution” (…)”pposition party leaders have asked the international community to weigh in with the GoB and encourage it to put the consensus draft to the parliament. Some political party representatives, including FRODEBU General Secretary Frederic Bamvuginyumvira, said to EmbOff July 16 that everything should be done to prevent the government’s draft from going before parliament because, he asserted, it will cause political deadlock” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

The elected individuals of the National Independent Electoral Commission:

“The Burundian Senate and National Assembly confirmed February 13 President Nkurunziza’s nomination of five individuals to the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), voting 41-5 and 108-4 in favor, respectively” (…) “President Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye, a Hutu with no party affiliation, who once served as Minister of Communication under ex-President Buyoya but has been involved with civil society since 2006” (…) “Vice-President Marguerite Bukuru, a Tutsi with no party affiliation, who served in several Ministerial positions in the early 90s” (…) “Prosper Ntahogwamiye, a Hutu, who is the Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Solidarity and a member of the Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) political party” (…) “Julius Bucumi, a Hutu, who is a member of the Judges Council of the Supreme Court and of the ruling CNDD-FDD political party” (…) “Adelaide Ndayirorere, a Tutsi, who is a senior staff member at the Central Bank and a member of the Union for National Progress (UPRONA) political party” (WikiLeaks, 2009).

EAC Secretariat Deputy Secretary General Beatrice Kiraso thoughts on the Elections 2010:

“shared concerns about the lack of international oversight of Burundi’s peace process and agreed on the need to establish a facilitation mechanism should things go awry in Burundi’s elections process” (…) “Per Kiraso, the electoral support mission found that Burundi’s CENI has the confidence of the population, but is lacking the capacity to coordinate all election observer activities” (…) “Kiraso reported that the EAC is tentatively planning to send a team of six to eight eminent persons to Burundi as long-term observers beginning in February 2010. In the second phase of election monitoring, the EAC proposes to send two observers to each province one month before Burundi’s May elections” (…) “Kiraso, who led the EAC mission, noted with disappointment the electoral support mission’s report had not yet been published. She reported that the November Council of Ministers insisted that the EAC’s report be endorsed by the Burundian government before publication. Tanzania, she confided, was the most opposed to publishing the report, even questioning the authority for EAC’s electoral support mission. She opined that Tanzania is concerned that the EAC is moving too fast towards regional integration. Uganda may also be nervous that a similar monitoring process might be used in its 2011 elections” (…) “Kiraso is keenly aware that the outcome of Burundi’s elections, whether positive or negative, will have regional ramifications: “The interest of the EAC is to ensure that peace and stability return permanently to the Republic of Burundi, otherwise there will be a spill-over effect on the rest of the region.” (WikiLeaks, 2010).

Afterthought:

I hope you have enjoyed the series and that it has given you some new knowledge on Burundi. It gave me a lot. Peace.

Reference:

WikiLeaks – ‘MINISTER OF INTERIOR PLAYS WITH ELECTORAL CODE’ (17.07.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA339_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘RADJABU’S UPD PARTY GAINING GROUND’ (27.06.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA356_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘AU SUMMIT — S/A WOLPE ENGAGES EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY ON BURUNDI ELECTIONS’ (18.02.2010) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10ADDISABABA332_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI LAWMAKERS VOTE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR ELECTORAL COMMISSION’ (18.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA83_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘BURUNDI: UN FIELD COVERAGE OF HUMAN RIGHTS’ (03.02.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA60_a.html

WikiLeaks – ‘FBI INVESTIGATES MANIRUMVA MURDER’ (06.05.2009) Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09BUJUMBURA222_a.html