Burundi reiterates rejection to cooperate with UN experts on human rights violations

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-29 04:14:19|Editor: yan
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BUJUMBURA, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Burundi has reiterated its rejection of cooperation with United Nations experts on human rights violations if their mandate is renewed by the UN Human Rights Council, the country's human rights minister said here Thursday.

"As members of the UN Human Rights Council are sitting in Geneva, Switzerland until tomorrow when they are expected to issue a resolution on Burundi, the government will not again accept to cooperate with foreigners. The renewal of their mandate will not change anything as the result will be the same again," said Burundian Human Rights Minister Martin Nivyabandi in a press conference.

According to him, the rejection of the renewal of a one-year mandate of UN experts to investigate "crimes against humanity" in Burundi is grounded on the suggestion by the European Union (EU) that the extension of the mandate is in violation of rules.

"We are not against people, but we are against principles. The UN Human Rights Council is mandated to promote human rights, but it is not mandated to appoint an inquiry commission that will report to the UN Security Council and that will in return request the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch investigations as it is the case for Burundi," said Nivyabandi.

Three UN investigators, appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, earlier this month issued a report whereby they urged the ICC to open a case "as soon as possible" against the Burundian government on alleged crimes against humanity committed since 2015.

The investigators had collected views from Burundian refugees living in neighboring countries and in Europe, but were denied access to the Burundian territory due to a previous "biased and wrong" report, according to the Burundian government.

Burundi plunged into a crisis since April 2015 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term bid and which he won in July 2015. His candidature, which was opposed by the opposition and civil society groups, resulted in a wave of protests, violence and even a failed coup on May 13, 2015.