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BURUNDI
CASE N° BDI/01 - S. MFAYOKURERA
CASE N° BDI/05 - I. NDIKUMANA
CASE N° BDI/06 - G. GAHUNGU
CASE N° BDI/07 - L. NTAMUTUMBA
CASE N° BDI/29 - P. SIRAHENDA
CASE N° BDI/35 - G. GISABWAMANA
Resolution adopted without a vote by the IPU Council
at its 170th session (Marrakech, 23 March 2002)


The Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of above-mentioned parliamentarians of Burundi, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/170/13.c(ii)-R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 169th session (September 2001),

Taking account of the information provided by the Burundian delegation at the hearing held with the Committee on the occasion of the 107th Conference (March 2002),

Recalling that Mr. Mfayokurera, Mr. Ndikumana, Mr. Gahungu, Ms. Ntamutumba and Mr. Gisabwamana were assassinated on 20 August 1994, 16 December 1995, in April and May 1996 and on 20 December 1999, respectively; recalling further the "disappearance" on 1 August 1997 of Deputy Sirahenda, who is alleged to have been extrajudicially executed in Makamba camp,

Considering that, while in the case of Mr. Gisabwamana the murderer, a military officer, was identified, brought to justice and sentenced on 25 September 2001 to 18 months' imprisonment and a fine, the murder of the remaining Deputies has remained unpunished, the relevant investigations being either at a standstill or shelved,

Recalling that, according to the Minister for Institutional Reform, Human Rights and Relations with the Parliament, this state of affairs is due to the lack of evidence or to the fact that presumed suspects absconded; considering in this respect that, according to the observations provided by the Burundian delegation to the 107th Conference, those cases have remained unpunished not for want of information - in fact, everyone knew who had committed particular assassinations - but because entire files had disappeared, such as the file concerning Mr. Gahungu on whose murder, as in other cases, the National Assembly had provided information to the Prosecutor General,

Recalling in this connection also that, according to the sources, eyewitness accounts of Mr. Sirahenda's abduction in a military jeep exist; moreover, a soldier from Makamba camp who deserted is said to have confirmed that he could one day testify to the horrendous manner in which Mr. Sirahenda was killed in that military camp while the camp commander looked on nonchalantly,

Recalling that, with regard to the possibilities of securing compensation for the families of the parliamentarians concerned, the Minister of Human Rights stated in his letter of 19 January 2001 that "the State of Burundi has an obligation to compensate any victim when he or she is able to prove the responsibility of the State or its agents ",

Considering that the new Transitional National Assembly, provided for under the Arusha Agreement, has started its work in January 2002 and will establish in the 12 months to come an international judicial inquiry commission and a "truth and national reconciliation commission" to shed light on the violence which has prevailed in Burundi since its independence,

  1. Thanks the Burundian delegation and in particular the President of the Transitional National Assembly for the information provided;

  2. Notes with satisfaction that the suspect in the case of Mr. Gisabwamana has been identified and sentenced, although his sentence does not appear to be proportionate to the crime; would appreciate information on steps taken to fulfil the authorities' obligation, as acknowledged by the Minister of Human Rights, to provide compensation to his family;

  3. Is dismayed at the standstill in the investigation into the murder of the other five MPs concerned, despite the existence of evidence as in the case of Mr. Sirahenda; urges the authorities to inquire into the serious allegations that he was extrajudicially executed in Makamba military camp;

  4. Is confident that the newly established Transitional National Assembly will do its utmost to ensure that the fight against impunity, which features prominently in the Arusha Agreements as a priority and prerequisite for the full re-establishment of the rule of law and respect for human rights in Burundi, is effective and that investigations are carried out with renewed vigour;

  5. Appreciates in this respect the setting up in the near future of a national and an international commission to establish accountability of perpetrators of human rights violations;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to bring this resolution to the attention of the authorities and the sources;

  7. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session (September 2002).

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 107th Conference and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size approximately 436K). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader

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