Case N° BDI/01 - Sylvestre Mfayokurera
Case N° BDI/05 - Innocent Ndikumana
Case N° BDI/06 - Gerard Gahungu
Case N° BDI/07 - Bibiane Ntamutumba

Case N° BDI/02 - N. Ndihokubwayo Case N° BDI/19 - T. Sibomana
Case N° BDI/03 - L. Ntibayazi Case N° BDI/20 - T. Bukuru
Case N° BDI/04 - F. Banvuginyunvira Case N° BDI/21 - S. Murekambanze
Case N° BDI/08 - A. Nahindavyi ndanga Case N° BDI/22 - G. Nduwimana
Case N° BDI/09 - I. Kubwayo Case N° BDI/23 - C. Manirambona
Case N° BDI/10 - S. Nsabuwanka Case N° BDI/24 - S. Ntakhomenyereye
Case N° BDI/11 - I. Bapfeguhita Case N° BDI/25 - D. Ngarukirinka
Case N° BDI/12 - P. Nizigire Case N° BDI/26 - N. Ndikumana
Case N° BDI/13 - P. Burarame Case N° BDI/27 - N. Ntahomukiye
Case N° BDI/14 - S. Biyombera Case N° BDI/28 - C. Bucumi
Case N° BDI/15 - J. Ndenzako Case N° BDI/29 - P. Sirahenda
Case N° BDI/16 - D. Serwenda Case N° BDI/30 - A. Kirara
Case N° BDI/17 - A. Ntirandekura Case N° BDI/31 - J.-P. Ntimpirongrea
Case N° BDI/18 - D. Bigirimana

Case N° BDI/32 - Leonce Ngendakumana
Case N° BDI/33 - Augustin Nzojibwami
Case N° BDI/34 - Paul Munyembari

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council at its 160th session
(Seoul, 15 April 1997)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 159th session (September 1996) concerning the above parliamentarians, with the exception of the three cases mentioned below,

Having before it the case of Mr. Léonce Ngendakumana, Mr. Augustin Nzojibwami and Mr. Paul Munyembari, members of the National Assembly of Burundi, which has been the subject of a study and report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians in accordance with the " Procedure for the examination and treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of human rights of parliamentarians ",

Taking note of the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/160/14(a)-R.1), which contains a detailed outline of the case,

Taking into consideration the information provided by the sources on 25 February 1997,

Also taking into consideration the information supplied by the Minister of Justice on 14 March and 2 April 1997,

Recalling that the coup d'Etat of 25 July 1996 placed Major Pierre Buyoya, who had lost the 1993 elections, at the head of the State; that he deposed President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya and suspended the Constitution, the political parties and the National Assembly,

Considering that, by virtue of Decree-Law N° 1/001/96 of 13 September 1996 establishing the institutional system of transition, the National Assembly was re-established albeit with substantial modifications; that, however, it is unable to meet in the present circumstances,

Bearing in mind that in his report to the United Nations General Assembly (A/51/459), dated 7 October 1996, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burundi noted and viewed as a positive sign the ending of the suspension of the National Assembly and political parties by the de facto Burundi authorities; that he nonetheless stated that " this measure will be inadequate if the de facto authorities are not capable of ensuring the inviolability of the parliamentarians and preventing any attacks on their physical integrity and that of their families  "; that subsequently, in his report to the 53rd session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (E/CN.4/1997/12), he stated that " to date, the transitional authorities have not been able to guarantee the inviolability of members of Parliament, or prevent violations of their safety or that of their families ",

Recalling that Mr. Mfayokurera, Mr. Ndikumana, Mr. Gahungu and Ms. Ntamutumba, who were all elected in 1993 on a FRODEBU ticket, were assassinated on 20 August 1994, 16 December 1995 and in April and May 1996, respectively, and that, according to the sources, no serious investigations into these crimes have as yet been undertaken, thus guaranteeing the attackers total impunity,

Considering the information contained in the letter of 2 April 1997 from the Minister of Justice to the President of the National Assembly, namely that:

(a) The case of Mr. Mfayokurera, registered as R.M.P.G. N° 1427/NA, is still at the pre-trial investigation stage in the Prosecutor's Office at the Bujumbura Court of Appeal and that a certain Parfait Havyarimana was charged;

(b) The case of Mr. Ndikumana is registered as R.M.P.G. N° 1548/SI and still at the pre-trial investigation stage in the Prosecutor's Office at the Bujumbura Court of Appeal;

(c) Following a complaint by Mr. Gahungu's widow, an investigation into the killing of her husband was opened and registered as R.M.P.G. N° 1378/NT.T;

(d) Investigations into the murder of Ms. Ntamutumba cannot be instituted since the attackers are unknown,

Bearing in mind that, according to Article 2 of Decree N° 100/23 of 13 September 1996, one of the priority objectives of the institutions of transition consists in combating impunity for crimes,

Recalling that Mr. Ndihokubwayo, Mr. Banvuginyunvira and Mr. Ntibayazi were seriously injured in the assassination attempts carried out against them in September 1994, February 1995 and September 1995, respectively; that Mr. Ndihokubwayo, fearing for his life, had to leave the country,

Considering that, according to the Minister of Justice, Mr. Parfait Havyarimana is suspected of attempted murder on the person of Mr. Ndihokubwayo; that in the other cases the attacks have not been brought to the attention of the Public Prosecutor, with the result that there has been no investigation into these attacks,

Considering that Mr. Léonce Ngendakumana, President of the National Assembly, is currently accused of inciting the inhabitants of his home province to engage in the mass killings that followed the assassination of President Ndadaye in October 1993; that Mr. Ngendakumana himself, in November 1995, denounced to the then Prime Minister and Minister of Justice the existence of a criminal gang seeking to enlist people willing to be bribed into giving false evidence implicating him in such killings; that, according to the Public Prosecutor, the two complaints are being examined jointly because Mr. Ngendakumana is accused of killing one of the persons he so denounced,

Considering that Mr. Ngendakumana accused the Public Prosecutor of violating the principle of assumption of innocence by publicly declaring him guilty before the conclusion of the investigation and of ordering the theft of his defence material; that the Minister of Justice has ordered an investigation of this matter,

Considering that Mr. Augustin Nzojibwami, Vice-President of the SAHWANYA-FRODEBU Party, was placed under house arrest on 8 February 1997, arrested on 11 February and subsequently released and once more placed under house arrest by order of the Supreme Court; that he is prosecuted on three different charges for having, according to the sources, denounced on the BBC the policy of forced regrouping of the population and the existence of concentration camps in Burundi,

Considering that Mr. Paul Munyembari, Vice-President of the National Assembly, is accused of distributing weapons in his province after the assassination of President Ndadaye in October 1993 and that, according to the source, the charge is false,

Recalling that the other persons mentioned above are all members of the National Assembly elected in 1993 on the FRODEBU ticket, most of whom were forced into exile following the coup d'Etat of 25 July 1996, that Mr. Bapfeguhita was killed in Zaire and Mr. Serwenda died in February 1997 of an illness resulting from his long stay in refugee camps; that ten others who had sought shelter in the refugee camps in Zaire, have returned to Burundi,

Considering that, in his latest report (February 1997, E/CN.4/1997/12), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Burundi, urges the de facto authorities " to protect the parliamentarians' physical integrity, to halt the criminal proceedings against some of them, to establish the appropriate conditions for the return of parliamentarians exiled in the United Republic of Tanzania, Zaire and Kenya and to ensure that the National Assembly receives the constitutional guarantees it needs in order to sit ",

  1. Thanks the Minister of Justice for the information he supplied and for his co-operation;
  2. Refers to the resolution it adopted at its sitting of 12 April 1997 on the situation of the National Assembly of Burundi;
  3. Urges the de facto authorities to protect the safety of the members of the National Assembly residing in the country;
  4. Recalls in this respect Articles 7 and 17 of Decree-Law N° 1/001/96 of 13 September, which guarantee the right to life and personal security and the right not to be forced into exile;
  5. Recalls in the strongest terms that it is the duty of every State to guarantee the right to justice and to prosecute and try the perpetrators of criminal acts; also recalls that the transitional authorities themselves have declared the combat against impunity to be a priority;
  6. Regrets that the investigations into the murder of Mr. Mfayokurera, Mr. Ndikumana, and Mr. Gahungu and into the attack on Mr. Ndihokubwayo have not progressed;
  7. Calls therefore on the competent de facto authorities to fulfil their international and national obligations and ensure that the investigations into the murder and the attacks on the parliamentarians concerned are conducted with the requisite diligence, and urges them further to institute investigations into the murder of Ms. Ntamutumba, failing as it does to understand how ignorance of the identity of her killers can be grounds for not investigating the matter since it is the prosecution's specific duty to identify the culprits and ensure that they are punished;
  8. Likewise urges the competent de facto authorities to investigate the attempt on the lives of Mr. Banvuginyunvira and Mr. Ntibayazi;
  9. Is concerned at the prosecution of Mr. Ngendakumana, Mr. Nzojibwami and Mr. Munyembari and, fearing it may be prompted by other than judicial considerations, joins the United Nations Special Rapporteur in calling for a halt to the proceedings;
  10. Requests the Secretary General to convey these considerations to the de facto authorities, inviting them to keep the Committee informed of any progress made in the relevant judicial investigations and any measures taken to ensure the proper functioning of Parliament;
  11. Also requests the Secretary General to maintain contact with the United Nations bodies and commissions dealing with the human rights situation in Burundi;
  12. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining the case and report to it at its next session (September 1997).

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