UN gives time to Burundi process

10 October 2005 by Thierry Cruvellier

The dual mechanism to establish crimes and responsibilities in Burundi will take longer to put into place than first announced. IJT has learnt that on 30 September, Kofi Annan will not be submitting his report to the UN Security Council on the creation of the special chamber to try those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity, and in parallel, a truth commission. [see IJT-23]. It is now widely accepted that more time is needed to consult the nation and its leadership in the light of the recent political upheavals in Burundi.

In this summer's local and general elections, the Tutsi elite, which dominated the country - mostly by force - since independence in 1962, suffered a crippling defeat. The traditional Hutu elite, which for the last 15 years served as the main political opposition to the Tutsi-dominated regime, also clocked up heavy electoral losses. Both parties found themselves defated by the former Hutu rebels of the CNDD-FDD (national council for the defence of democracy-national forces for the defence of democracy), who won a conclusive victory. The party's discipline and secretive ways of operating left most commentators baffled as to its political platform. After winning a massive 60% vote in the general elections, party leader Pierre Nkurunziza was named President of Burundi on 19 August. This spectacular political sea change was greeted with relative calm in a country worn down by 12 years of civil war that killed 300,000 and has left the economy in tatters.

Want to read more?

We have tailor-made memberships for students, individuals, groups of professionals and large companies and organizations. A subscription entitles you to receive the International Justice Tribune every two weeks as well as become a member of the Justice Tribune Foundation, supporting independent reporting on international justice.

Subscribe now

Related articles

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda (Photo: Flickr/ICC-CPI)
20 October 2016 by Benjamin Duerr

After the president of Burundi signed a law to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday, the central African country is likely to become the first state to withdraw from the court's founding treaty. Now, experts say, both Burundi and the ICC, will get caught up in making largely symbolic moves in a race against time.

When Pierre Nkurunziza signed law no 1/14 of 18 October 2016, he became the world's first president to lead his country out of the ICC. With his signature under the “law concerning the withdrawal of the Republic of Burundi from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court” the president approved previous decisions by the senate and the national assembly. This is the first time a country has decided to leave the court which opened its doors in 2002. Burundi has been in turmoil and on the radar of the international community since early 2015. Both the ICC and the United Nations are looking into the violence there which has left hundreds of people dead.[IJT- 194]

11 June 2014 by IJT

Fourteen years after the Arusha peace agreements, which called for a special tribunal and a truth commission in Burundi, the law creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was promulgated on 15 May. 

09 May 2012

Summary and link to PDF of IJT 151.

06 October 2010 by Stef Vandeginste

With a successfully completed peace process followed by general elections in the summer of 2010, the case of Burundi seemingly contradicted the conventional wisdom that there can be no peace without justice. In fact, despite a rhetorical commitment to establishing transitional justice mechanisms, no action has so far been undertaken to end impunity for past human rights crimes.

30 March 2011 by Nidzara Ahmetasevic

“Finally, the goal is to establish a register of victims killed from the war in Slovenia in 1991, to the war in Kosovo in 1999”, explains Natasa Kandic, a prominent human rights activist in Serbia and a founder of the Initiative for a Regional Truth Commission (RECOM).