Norway's statement on Burundi

STATEMENT, 27 September 2016

Mr President,

Norway continues to have deep concerns over the human rights situation in Burundi. We should not be reassured by the apparent reduction in open and conspicuous violence in recent months. The UNIIBsindependent investigation report convincingly documents an alarming trend. It states that human rights violations is mainly perpetrated by state actors and affiliated groups, and have increasingly become systematic and widespread.

The report’s chapter on Sexual and Gender-based violence is extremely alarming, and the abuses and violations mentioned are horrendous. The situation and the pattern emerging are totally unacceptable and must be dealt with urgently.

The report’s findings on gross human rights violations and tensions within the security forces should also be highlighted due to their partly ethnic dimension and thus potentially grave consequences. The fact that the African Commission on Human People’s Rights has described the violations as pervasive, systematic, serious and massive, lends extra credibility to the report. Norway support the recommendations of the report.

It is important to find a peaceful political solution to the crisis in Burundi as soon as possible. Further more, we stress the importance of creating a society where human rights are respected and adhered to in the longer run.

The longer it takes to find a political solution, the more entrenched and “normalized” the serious and deteriorating human rights situation will be. This will make it increasingly difficult to reverse the current trend.

Norway therefore urges the governmentand opposition alike to engage sincerely and seriously in the East African Community led dialogue process.

Thank you.