OHCHR to assess Burundian efforts for transitional justice
Geneva, Dec 5: United Nations human rights expert Pablo de Greiff is to visit Burundi from 8 to 16 December to assess the transitional justice efforts undertaken by the authorities.
“This first visit comes at a particularly crucial moment,” said the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence said, pointing to the ongoing process of the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission” read a statement of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) on Friday.
Since gaining independence in 1962, Burundi has experienced several periods and incidents of grave violence and massive abuses, often ethnically motivated.
The creation of the truth-seeking body in Burundi is one of the main steps contained in the Arusha Agreement of 2000 and a key recommendation of the national consultations of 2009.“However, beyond truth-seeking, my mandate focuses on the areas of justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, which,” as the expert pointed out, “aim to redress the legacies of massive human rights violations, and to assist in providing recognition to victims, foster trust and reconciliation, and strengthen the rule of law,” the statement quoted the expert as saying.”I intend to assess objectively and impartially the work undertaken in all four areas of my mandate and offer my assistance to the Government and the entire Burundian society to adequately address past violations with the aim to continue to move forward.”
Mr. de Greiff, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Burundi authorities, is scheduled to meet with Government officials, representatives of the legislative and judicial branches, law enforcement officials, a broad range of civil society actors, victims, the UN and diplomatic delegations. He is scheduled to visit the provinces of Bujumbura Rural, Bubanza and Gitega, read the statement.
The Colombian human rights expert will hold a press conference in Bujumbura at the end of the visit on 16 December to present his preliminary findings and recommendations. A final report on the visit will be presented by the Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2015.
Mr. de Greiff was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the first Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence in 2012.
The Oslo Times