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Item 4: ID w/ CoI on Burundi

STATEMENT, 13 March 2017

Mr President

Norway continues to be concerned over the situation in Burundi. Despite reduction in violence in recent months, there seems to be an alarming trend of less visible but systematic and widespread human rights violations. We therefore urge the government to resume its cooperation with UN on human rights and in general, and let the Commission of Inquiry established by the Council enter Burundi.

We stress the overall responsibility of the government to ensure that all citizens can enjoy their human rights unrestricted and that violations by all actors should stop immediately.

We are in particular concerned about reports that the youth wing of the ruling party (CNDD-FDD), the Imbonerakure, has taken on the role of police, security forces, even tax collectors. They have, according to reports, committed heinous human rights abuses, including sexual and gender based violence, seemingly with impunity. It is urgent that youth militias are reigned in and disarmed.

We would also like to stress the responsibility of all actors to refrain from actions or statements that would further escalate tensions. 

The political crisis has had serious impact on the social and economic situation of an already vulnerable population.  The current food insecurity adds to the urgency of the situation.

We urge the government and opposition to engage sincerely and seriously in the EAC led dialogue process facilitated by former President Mkapa. We also urge the political leaders of the region to give all their support to Mkapa’s endeavours.

An inclusive dialogue involving all Burundian political stakeholders is the only solution to the current political crisis.

Thank you