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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 595th meeting, held on 28 April 2016, adopted the following decision on the Report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) on its fact-finding mission to Burundi:

Council,

1.    Takes note of the report of the ACHPR on its fact-finding mission to Burundi undertaken from 7 to 13 December 2015, pursuant to paragraph 12 (iv) of communiqué PSC/PR/ COMM.(DLVII), adopted at its 551st meeting held on 17 October 2015, in which Council agreed on the launching of an in-depth investigation on the violations of human rights and other abuses against civilian populations in Burundi, for the purposes of enabling Council to take additional measures. In this regard, Council requested the ACHPR to urgently take the required steps to carry out this investigation and to submit to it a report within a maximum period of forty five (45) days. Council also takes note of the presentation of the Report by the Representative of the ACHPR and the statement made by the Representative of Burundi;

2.     Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in Burundi, in particular the Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.2(DXV) adopted at its 515th meeting held on 13 June 2015, Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DXXIII) adopted at its 523rd meeting held on 9 July 2015, Communiqué PSC/BR/PR.(DXXXI) adopted at its 531st meeting held on 6 August 2015, the Communiqué on the situation in Burundi adopted at its 551st meeting held on 17 October 2015, Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DLVII) adopted at its 557th meeting held on 13 November 2015, Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DLXV) adopted at its 565th meeting held on 17 December 2015, Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.3(DLXXI) adopted at its 571st meeting held on 29 January 2016, by the Heads of State and Government, and Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM.(DLXXXI) adopted at its 581st meeting held on 9 March 2016;

3.    Reaffirms that the August 2000 Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation and the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi remain the foundation and cornerstone of peace, security and stability in Burundi;

4.    Underscores the imperative of a consensual approach among the Burundian stakeholders, if ever there would be need to address issues of contention relating to   the Constitution of Burundi and the Arusha Agreement;

5.    Reiterates its deep concern about the persistent instability in Burundi, characterized by continued assassinations of military officers and civilians. Council reiterates the AU’s strong condemnation of all acts of violence, irrespective of the perpetrators, and human rights violations, as documented in the Report submitted by the ACHPR. However, Council notes that most of the contents of the Report have been overtaken by many national, regional, continental and international efforts aimed at the promotion of peace, security and stability in Burundi;

6.    Notes the recommendations in the report of the ACHPR’s fact-finding mission to Burundi and requests the African Union Commission to regularly update Council on the evolution of the situation in the country, to enable Council to take appropriate decisions;

7.    Calls for the urgent resumption of the Inter-Burundian Dialogue and stresses the need for the East African Community (EAC) mediation to take into account the recommendations in the ACHPR’s Report within the context of the Dialogue. Council urges the Government of Burundi and all the concerned stakeholders to lend their full support to EAC Mediation;

8.    Underscores the need for the full deployment of the AU human rights observers, military experts and police officers in line with the relevant decisions of Council, to monitor and report on the human rights and security situation in Burundi;

9.    Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Limi Mohammed

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