22 Aug

Violation Of The Constitution And The Arusha Agreement For Peace And Reconciliation In Burundi

1. This report is published a year after the outbreak of the bid protest crisis of President Pierre Nkurunziza in the third term as president of the country in violation of the Constitution and the Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi.

2. The general finding is that during this period the situation of human rights has gradually deteriorated in a context where state services responsible for protecting the population have difficulties stem the worrying phenomenon of crime and serious violations of human rights in the country.

3. While the clashes between police and armed groups in some areas of Bujumbura Mairie that characterized the beginning of the 1st half of 2016 ceased to satisfy the people of Bujumbura . But security remains severely compromised by numerous cases of arbitrary arrests , targeted killings , enforced disappearances , torture and extrajudicial executions whose perpetrators remain ” not found ” and unpunished.

4. The investigation and prosecution often promised by the authorities in charge of Security and Justice does not seem to have a positive impact because the weapons that have marred regularly families still circulating illegally in not yet claimed armed groups Imbonerakure militiamen CNDD-FDD , complicit with the administration and the police.

5. Thus, the number of victims of assassinations , from March 12 to June 30, 2016 , amounted to 90 people killed , including 40 unidentified . In the previous quarter, 44 cases of targeted killings were recorded from which 134 targeted killings in the first half of 2016 .

6. The killings , dubbed enforced disappearances not only prevail civilians but also soldiers and policemen supposed to be protectors of the population. At the FDN , victims number in the majority among former FAB although the former PMPA are also targeted small number compared to the former FAB .

7. Accordingly, the tension rises in the member of the National Defence Force (FDN) which break would be fatal to the peace and the country’s overall security. Indeed, the phenomenon is observed in a context where the CNDD -FDD government wants to print an ethnic touch to the crisis, raising fears of invisible hand of state agents or their accomplices behind these crimes , especially after the attempted coup of May 13, 2015 .

8. Concerning arbitrary arrests, 1,291 cases were recorded (including 1,177 unidentified victims and 114 victims identified ) during the period from 12 March and 30 June 2016. During the previous period of December 9, 2015 and March 11 2016 SOS- Torture / BURUNDI had identified 736 victims people (including 316 identified victims and 420 unidentified ) . Thus, SOS- Torture / BURUNDI are a total of 2,027 arbitrary arrests in the 1st semester 2016 .

9. Often , the victims are arrested by the Police without warrant , sometimes in collusion with the militias Imbonerakure CNDD-FDD and are held at unknown locations by their relatives . We are witnessing even during some arrests to the phenomenon of hostage taking which , failing to hand over the requested person is stopped spouse or child. Several corruption cases have been reported where the police demanded a ransom to release the victims arrested irregularly. 

10. At the political affiliation of the victims, those of the MSD ( Movement for Solidarity and Democracy) and FNL ( National Liberation Forces ) are the most numerous independent . Other victims are in the category of those who demonstrated against the third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza or that of those who are suspected of complicity with the armed groups. The victims also included students accused of scribbling of President Nkurunziza ‘s picture in the provinces of Rumonge Karusi , Ruyigi , Bujumbura Mairie, Muramvya towards the end of the school year.

11. One of the serious consequences of these arbitrary arrests is the deterioration of prison conditions in the prisons and the prisons where the host capacity is very limited compared to the high number of defendants ; this is compounded by the slow progress of court records . 

12. As regards the geographical distribution of arbitrary arrests , we note that the most affected are the Mayor of Bujumbura and specifically in the town of Musaga south of the capital, followed by the Bururi province , especially in common Mugamba . The peculiarity of these two areas is that they have distinguished themselves in the protests against the third term of President Nkurunziza. It is in these places that administrative officials CNDD- FDD in particular and police were the target of assassinations by armed groups .

13. Concerning torture and other cruel , inhuman or degrading treatment , the cases recorded by SOS- Torture fall short of reality because access to places of detention and torture as the SNR and other dungeons Police is still prohibited for human rights activists . The case most visible torture occur during arbitrary arrests where victims are violently beaten and tied up by agents of the police and army . 

14. As of 12 March to 29 June 2016, SOS- Torture / BURUNDI identified 1063 cases of torture in the light of mass arrests in which the victims were subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in more cases of torture inflicted on the victims individually or in small groups during the arrests . 

15. In addition to bad inhuman treatment during arrest , SOS- Torture / BURUNDI observed since May , mass arrests in neighborhoods that have demonstrated against the third term of Pierre Nkurunziza. Hundreds of people were repeatedly brutally driven from their homes , humiliated and kept outside under a blazing sun on the pretext to carry out verification of infiltration potential combatants within the population. After several hours of waiting , a lot of people were released , sometimes after paying police bribes . Some people were held without theirs after only know by their fate. 

16. Other forms of violations of human rights features of the crisis in Burundi for a year are forced disappearance and extrajudicial executions phenomena . 

17. During the period from 12 March to 29 June 2016 , 10cas disappearances were recorded by the SOS- Torture / BURUNDI campaign. These are in addition to 16 cases reported in the previous report (4 cases of unidentified persons ) , making a total of 26 victims during the first half of 2016 . 

18. Until the publication of this report , missing persons , from December 2015 to March 2016 have not yet been recovered and obviously the police and justice are unable to shed light on the extent this phenomenon. 

19. With regard to extrajudicial executions , the campaign SOS- Torture / BURUNDI noted 18 cases of extrajudicial executions during the period of 12 March to 29 June , bringing the death toll to 214 people since December 2015 for between 11 December 2015 and March 11, 2016 , SOS- Torture / BURUNDI had identified 196 victims ( including 167 unidentified and 29 identified ) . 

20. In conclusion, the table on the situation of human rights in Burundi remains dark , a year after the outbreak of the protest movement of the third term of President Pierre Nkurunziza . 

21. The number of victims continues to grow in all population groups , including administrators and members of the ruling CNDD-FDD, without the perpetrators are apprehended and punished by the authorized services. 

22. The bodies of police and justice hardly manage to curb the worrying phenomenon of targeted killings, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings in which state agents are involved as perpetrators or accomplices. 

23. Furthermore, it attends to the involvement of militias Imbonerakure in policing services and security, a phenomenon that threatens the stability of the National Defence Forces (FDN) and peace in the country especially as some military and police impunity are the subject of targeted killings or forced disappearances.

24. The frequent arbitrary arrests in the neighborhoods of Bujumbura and Bururi province specifically illustrate a climate of permanent tension between the police and the population of the localities concerned. 

25. This climate of insecurity and continued violation of human rights contributes to further isolation of Burundi in the concert of Nations with all the already devastating impact on the socio-economic and political terms. 

26. This context calls first the Head of State and his close collaborators of the government on their responsibilities and their obligation to protect the population in compliance with national, regional and international commitments which bind the Burundi in protecting human rights and promoting the principles of good governance.

 27. The obligation to contribute to the restoration of peace also comes to the entire political class, the Government and the political opposition, which should favor the frank and inclusive dialogue in the interest of all Burundians. 

28. For these reasons, the campaign SOS-Torture / BURUNDI recommends: