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04 September 2006 by -

«We are not afraid of appearing in front of the International Court. We have wanted international justice to be interested in the killings in Burundi for a long time.» So said Pasteur Habimana, the spokesperson for the National Liberation Forces (FNL) in an interview with Associated Press on 20 August. The Burundi rebel movement has admitted it was behind the massacre of over 160 Banyamulenge (Congolese Tutsi) refugees in the Gatumba camp, north-west of the capital Bujumbura, on 13 August.

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20 September 2004 by -

In a bid to reassure the international community, the Burundi government on 1 September announced a new draft bill to set up the truth and reconciliation commission promised by the 2000 peace agreement. The bill replaces an earlier version that was approved by the National Assembly but which had been blocked by the government since June 2003. One problem is that the text is not the same as that ratified by the National Assembly in 2003.

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06 December 2004 by -

While the US government is stepping up pressure on states to sign bilateral agreements guaranteeing American citizens freedom from prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC), the conflict that divides the US from most of its Western partners has found a new forum for debate. While renewing the UN mandate in Burundi, the Security Council also acknowledged a UN report on the Gatumba massacre, as well as a letter on the subject sent by the Burundi government on 29 October.

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11 April 2008 by -

A report made public on 11 March by the UN secretary-general recommends setting up a «dual mechanism for establishing crimes and responsibilities» in Burundi, with the creation of a truth commission and a special chamber within the national courts. The commission would be made up of two Burundi nationals and three international members to ensure its «objectivity, impartiality and credibility». Its temporal jurisdiction would probably run from independence in 1962 to the mid-1990s, or even the present day.

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27 June 2005 by -

Burundi is to experiment transitional justice using a mixed model. On 20 June, the UN Security Council agreed to examine the recommendation made by Secretary General Kofi Annan to install a "dual mechanism to establish the facts and responsibilities" for the crimes committed in this small central- African country. Annan must now report back to the Security Council before 30 September on the cost and implications of setting up two complementary institutions - a truth commission and a special chamber within the national justice system.

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04 October 2004 by -

The latest ratifications by Burundi, Liberia and Guyana have enlarged membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to 97 countries. After being ravaged by war since 1989, Liberia's ratification has huge symbolic value. However, the Burundi ratification has raised some pressing issues. The site of almost-daily massacres for the last eleven years, the country has already been discreetly earmarked for investigations by prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo. His staff is looking into the slaughter of at least 152 Banyamulenge refugees at the Gatumba camp on 13 August 2004.

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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.

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05 November 2007 by -

Burundi has now established a "steering committee" to supervise the possible implementation of a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) regarding the grave crimes committed over the past 40 years.

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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.

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13 March 2006 by Thierry Cruvellier and Didace Kanyugu

Six months after the new government took power in Burundi, little headway has been made in the negotiations with the UN on setting up institutions to render justice for crimes committed over the past four decades. However, a still confidential government document gives a preliminary indication of the Burundian authorities' choices. Bujumbura's proposed truth and reconciliation commission and special court appear to be surprisingly expansive and firm-handed.

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