from OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) – THE new president of Burundi has an opportunity to reverse the killings, torture and disappearance of government critics following his recent election.
President Évariste Ndayishimiye has been sworn in after winning a contested election against Agathon Rwasa and other opposition candidates.
The accelerated inauguration process followed the unexpected death of President Pierre Nkurunziza on June 8.
The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (GCRP) said amid this rapid transition – initially set to take place in August – Burundians and the international community were waiting to see if the new government would seize upon this unique moment in the country’s history.
GCRP said the new government should recommit to upholding its responsibility to protect by ending persecution and repression, strengthening state institutions and tackling pervasive impunity.
It proposed the demobilisation and disarming of the Imbonerakure, a youth wing of the ruling party.
GCRP said the incoming government must prioritise independent, credible and transparent investigations into all human rights abuses and violations ordered and committed since 2015.
It called for authorities to identify those responsible and put in place a victim-centered approach to justice and accountability.
“This would send a strong signal to all perpetrators that they will be held accountable for their crimes, and to victims, that justice will be served.”
Burundi has been in crisis since Nkurunziza forced a third term in 2015.
More than 330 000 Burundians fled the country.
The ruling party also embarked on a crackdown on civil society and independent media.
– CAJ News