Burundi at loggerheads with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Before the Human Rights Council, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights  Kate Gilmore called on Burundi to renew contacts with all international human rights bodies after its decision to revoke the visas granted to three experts from the Office of the High Commissioner.

Under a resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 28 September 2017, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expected Wednesday to present its final report on the UN Human Rights Council after the deployment of three UN experts in the country.

The report could not be presented to the Council at its 39th session as provided for in the resolution.

“Unfortunately, the government of Burundi has not cooperated with the full implementation of this resolution,” Gilmore said in an interactive debate at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council. The Deputy High Commissioner highlighted the frustrations created by the missed opportunity for her Office to provide an objective assessment of the human rights situation in Burundi.

According to the UN HRC news site, The experts deployed in Burundi were tasked with collecting information on human rights violations and transmitting it to national judicial authorities to ensure accountability. The team was also tasked with providing the Burundian government with recommendations for technical assistance and capacity-building to combat impunity and uphold human rights. Visas canceled three weeks after the arrival of the experts

Kate Gilmore

 

The Deputy High Commissioner explained the absence of a report by the non-deployment of the team of experts to Burundi, Bujumbura having canceled their visas three weeks after their arrival in the country even though the deployment protocol had been respected.

 The Burundian government has so far not responded to communications from OHCHR, Gilmore said. “Since resolution 36/2 has been accepted by Burundi, the country has a special responsibility to cooperate. It is worrying that he has prevented the team from doing the prescribed work and that there has been no discussion of the memorandum of understanding between OHCHR and Burundi, “said Gilmore. , inviting Bujumbura to renew contacts with OHCHR.

In front of the Human Rights Council, Burundi justified its about-face about the experts’ visas, explaining that the nature of their mission had changed once they arrived in Bujumbura.

The Burundi ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Rénovat Tabu, denounced a truncated narrative of facts and a relentlessness, the essence of which is not likely to promote good cooperation. The Burundian representative invited the new High Commissioner to adopt a new dynamic of cooperation with his country.

The Human Rights Council will examine the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which was made public on 5 September, on 17 September in Geneva. A report in which members of the Commission say that serious human rights violations, some of which constitute crimes against humanity, continued to be committed in Burundi in 2017 and 2018.

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