In a new report requested by the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi said that there had been “little” in the way of “positive changes” since President Evariste Ndayishimiye “assumed office” in June.
Commission of Inquiry member Francoise Hampson described evidence of serious human rights violations during this year’s elections, including summary executions, torture and sexual violence.
“In recent weeks there have continued to be killings, there have continued to be arbitrary detentions and there have continued to be disappearances,” she said. “So, it’s slightly surprising that it is continuing as it was even though elections have finished. And that is a matter of very grave concern.”
In a virtual press conference, Commission of Inquiry chairperson Doudou Diene warned that policy shifts, appointments, and public statements by the new Government showed “more cause for concern and warning, than promise”.
This was because key positions in the new Government included individuals who had been identified as having committed rights violations in previous administrations, who face international sanctions.
In addition, the majority of new appointments were from the military, Diene added, while there continued to be no way to bring violators to account inside the country.
Additional findings by the Commission indicated that the country’s human rights situation remains at risk of deteriorating, even after the 2020 elections were held.