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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 183rd session
(Geneva, 15 October 2008)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of the above-mentioned Burundian parliamentarians, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/183/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 182nd session (April 2008),

Taking account of the letter of the President of the National Assembly of 8 October 2008 and of the information provided on the occasion of the hearing with the Committee by the Burundian delegation to the 119th IPU Assembly,

Recalling that: the parliamentarians concerned were killed between 1994 and 1999 and that only in the case of Mr. Gisabwamana has the perpetrator - a military officer - been identified and brought to justice, although the victim's family has received no reparation; in 2004 one of the sources reported the arrest of Mr. Parfait Mugenzi, one of the suspects in the murder of Mr. Mfayokurera and the attempted murder of Mr. Ndihokubwayo, albeit in connection with the murder, in November 2001, of Dr. Kassy Manlan, the representative of the World Health Organization in Burundi, and the return from Rwanda, where they had fled, of two suspects in the case of Mr. Ndikumana, Mr. Ivan Bigendanko and Mr. Désiré Banuma, who were in hiding in Burundi; in the case of Mr. Sirahenda, a member of the military at Mabanda camp who subsequently deserted stated that he could one day testify to the horrendous manner of Mr. Sirahenda's killing at the camp,

Noting that Mr. Mugenzi is reportedly no longer in detention but on the run, his escape from prison having allegedly been organized by the former Prosecutor General, who is said to have provided him with a passport,

Recalling that the National Assembly set up a parliamentary working group to examine the cases in question and noting in this respect that, since its first meeting in October 2006, at which it worked out a strategy to obtain information on the cases in question, the working group has held no further meetings; considering that the President of the National Assembly, in his communication of 8 October 2008, stated that "after a whole year of crisis in the National Assembly, the Bureau intends to reactivate the working group on human rights to enable it to monitor how all these cases evolve judicially",

Recalling also that the President of the National Assembly has stated that the cases would be dealt with by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; considering that, according to his letter of 8 October 2008, a Tripartite Commission (United Nations, Government and Civil Society) had been in place to conduct popular consultations on the questions not having produced consensus between the United Nations and the Government and had recently produced a memorandum laying down the basic principles of the consultations; the commission reckoned that these field consultations and the drafting of the report could take a year; the Human Rights Committee of the National Assembly would continue to monitor this matter,

Bearing in mind the work of the IPU, under its technical cooperation programme, to assist the Parliament of Burundi in playing its role as an important facilitator of reconciliation in the country and the difficulties encountered in this task,

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

  2. Is nevertheless deeply disappointed that, despite the parliamentary authorities' repeatedly stated commitment to the working group, it has been totally ineffective since it first met two years ago and that, as a result its strategy to provide the much needed fresh impetus to these cases ,it has only gathered dust; is confident that the President of the National Assembly's latest expression of support for the working group will bear fruit, and wishes to be kept informed in this respect;

  3. Is dismayed that the National Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as provided for under the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi, has yet to be established after years of discussion; trusts that the Tripartite Commission will carry out its consultations diligently and efficiently and set a clear timetable for the establishment in the near future of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; would greatly appreciate receiving information in this respect;

  4. Reaffirms that neither the existence of the parliamentary working group nor the future establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission relieves the authorities of their duty to do their utmost to dispense justice at all times; reiterates that there are sufficient leads and evidence available in several of the cases to permit the authorities to make substantive progress in this respect; therefore once again calls on the authorities to take the necessary steps to reactivate the investigations in these cases;  

  5. Notes with concern that Mr. Mugenzi is reportedly no longer in custody, and would appreciate receiving detailed information as to whether or not Mr. Mugenzi has ever been questioned regarding his implication in the murder of Mr. Mfayokurera and, if so, the results of the questioning, and if not, why not; and what steps are being taken to locate and apprehend him;

  6. Requests the Secretary General to convey the present resolution to the competent authorities and to the source;

  7. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and report to it at its next session, to be held on the occasion of the 120th Assembly of the IPU (April 2009).
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