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Resolution adopted unanimously by the Governing Council
at its 173rd session (Geneva, 3 October 2003)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Norbert Ndihokubwayo of Burundi, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/173/11(b)?R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 171st session (September 2002),

Taking account of the information provided by a member of the delegation of Burundi at the hearing held on the occasion of the 109th Assembly, and of a letter from the Secretary General of the Transitional National Assembly dated 11 July 2003,

Recalling that Mr. Ndihokubwayo survived two attempts on his life in September 1994 and December 1995; both crimes have remained unpunished to date,

Considering that on 6 April 2003 a six-member parliamentary group was set up by the Transitional National Assembly to work in close cooperation with the public prosecutor's office and the Minister of Human Rights, Institutional Reform and Relations with the National Assembly to ensure that the investigations into this case, among others, are reopened with a view to identifying and bringing to justice Mr. Ndihokubwayo's attackers; the group started its work in June 2003 and delivered its first report to the Assembly's President in July 2003,

Considering that, according to the report, the group is enjoying the full cooperation of the Minister of Human Rights, Institutional Reform and Relations with the National Assembly; it met the Prosecutor General, who stated that essential information was missing owing to the "negative solidarity" of the population; he nevertheless promised to look carefully into the matter; however he had so far been prevented from doing so by an unlimited strike of judges and prosecutors declared on 1 September 2003; a planned meeting with the Minister of Justice did not take place as the Minister refused to see the group; it has therefore decided to question him in Parliament during the forthcoming session,

Considering finally that the law establishing the "Truth and National Reconciliation Commission" provided for by the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement was adopted by the Transitional National Assembly,

  1. Welcomes the establishment of the parliamentary group mandated to look into the cases in question, and would appreciate being kept informed of its work;

  2. Is pleased that the group enjoys the cooperation of the Minister of Human Rights, Institutional Reform and Relations with the National Assembly and the Prosecutor General; is confident that they will make every effort to assist the group in its work; invites the Minister of Justice to do likewise;

  3. Notes with satisfaction the adoption of the law establishing the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission as an important step forward in the peace process, which, as many examples in other States have shown, can only succeed if the right of the victims of human rights violations to know the truth is fully respected; hopes that every effort will be made to set up the Commission as early as possible;

  4. Requests the Secretary General to convey this resolution to the competent authorities;

  5. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session to be held on the occasion of the 110th Assembly.

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