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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 184th session
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Referring to the case of Mr. Norbert Ndihokubwayo, a member of the Parliament of Burundi, as outlined in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/184/12(b)-R.1), and to the resolution adopted at its 183rd session (October 2008),

Taking into account the information provided by the President of the Senate and other members of the Burundian delegation at the hearing held with the Committee on the occasion of the 120th IPU Assembly,

Recalling that two attempts were made on Mr. Ndihokubwayo's life in 1994 and 1995, one of which left him severely injured, and that in 2004 one of the sources reported the arrest of Mr. Parfait Mugenzi, one of the alleged attackers, but in connection with the murder, in November 2001, of Dr. Kassy Manlan, the representative of the World Health Organization in Burundi; that Mr. Mugenzi was subsequently sentenced in June 2008 to life imprisonment in connection with the murder, but subsequently escaped from prison, allegedly with the assistance of the former Attorney General,

Recalling that the National Assembly set up a working group to examine this and other cases affecting parliamentarians, which, since its first meeting in October 2006 at which it worked out a strategy to obtain information on the cases in question, was long prevented from doing its work and has yet to be convened,

Considering the following information provided by the President of the Senate at the hearing with the Committee: the case of Mr. Ndihokubwayo cannot be separated from the many other cases of attacks, murders and killings committed at the time and can only be dealt with by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Criminal Chamber which were first envisaged in the 2000 Arusha Peace Accords; a Tripartite Commission composed of representatives of the United Nations, Government and Civil Society was set up in November 2006, but obtained financing only in June 2008; its mandate is to conduct popular consultations on the questions where no consensus has been reached between the United Nations and the Government; the Commission recently issued a memorandum laying down the basic principles of the consultations; it started its work in August 2008 and is expected to complete its mandate within 12 months,

  1. Thanks the President of the Senate for the extensive information and for his cooperation;

  2. Recognizes that the attacks on Mr. Ndihokubwayo took place in a general context of violent conflict which claimed many lives and that a comprehensive approach, to which the authorities have repeatedly stated their commitment, is needed to address the legacy of abuse marking that period;

  3. Firmly believes that the establishment of an effective National Truth and Reconciliation Commission and a Special Criminal Chamber is crucial to the pursuit of truth and justice in Burundi, including in the case of Mr. Ndihokubwayo; is convinced that the important leads and evidence available should significantly increase the likelihood that these institutions will succeed in elucidating the attacks and punishing those responsible; trusts that consultations and negotiations on their establishment will soon be successfully completed so that they can be set up and start their work;

  4. Reaffirms that the Parliament of Burundi has a special responsibility to ensure that attacks on its members are fully elucidated and do not go unpunished; trusts that it will closely monitor progress regarding the prompt establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Criminal Chamber and pave the way for their work on the case at hand, notably by meanwhile providing the parliamentary working group with the necessary assistance and support since it was set up to gather evidence which, with the passage of time, may well disappear;

  5. Decides to suspend its examination of the case until the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Criminal Chamber are indeed in place; and requests the Committee to keep itself informed of progress in this respect.
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