GE.17-17409 (E) 161017 161017


Human Rights Council Thirty-sixth session

11-29 September 2017

Agenda item 2

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 28 September 2017

36/2. Mission by the Office of the United Nations High

Commissioner for Human Rights to improve the human rights

situation and accountability in Burundi

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants

on Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments,

Recalling also General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006 and Human

Rights Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 of 18 June 2007,

Recalling further its resolutions 30/27 of 2 October 2015, S-24/1 of 17 December

2015 and 33/24 of 30 September 2016,

Reaffirming that States have the primary responsibility for the promotion and

protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of Burundi for ensuring

security in its territory and protecting its population, conducting inquiries into human rights

violations and bringing those responsible for such violations to justice, with respect for the

rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law, as applicable,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence,

territorial integrity and unity of Burundi,

Reaffirming also the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi,

which has been the basis for the Constitution of Burundi and provides the foundation for

peacebuilding, national reconciliation and the strengthening of democracy and the rule of


Bearing in mind that the international community, including the Human Rights

Council, can play an important role in preventing human rights violations and abuses and

mitigating the risk of escalation of conflicts,

Mindful of the importance of the prevention of human rights violations and abuses in

Burundi, especially in the context of past mass atrocities in the region,

Welcoming the launch of the inter-Burundian dialogue process and the progress

achieved, in a genuine and open manner, based on respect for the Constitution and the

Arusha Agreement, and also welcoming the political dialogue for Burundi under the

United Nations A/HRC/RES/36/2

General Assembly Distr.: General 4 October 2017


Original: French

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auspices of the Facilitator of the East African Community, the former President of the

United Republic of Tanzania, Benjamin William Mkapa, and with the mediation of the

President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, and the report of the Facilitator adopted on 20 May

2017 in Dar es Salaam at the Summit of Heads of State of the East African Community,

Noting with appreciation the efforts made by the international community to find a

peaceful solution to the crisis facing Burundi, including those of the United Nations, the

African Union and the East African Community, and the improvement of the political and

security situation in Burundi,

Noting with interest the efforts of the Government of Burundi to combat impunity

and strengthen the rule of law, including the adoption of the law on combating gender-

based violence and the law on the protection of victims and witnesses, the establishment of

the National Observatory for the Prevention and Eradication of the Crime of Genocide, War

Crimes and Crimes against Humanity and the National Council for National Unity and

Reconciliation, and the reform of the security and justice sector in accordance with the

Arusha Agreement,

Commending the assistance for the return of refugees provided by host countries and

the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on Burundi of 23 February 2017,1

Deploring the suspension of cooperation between the Government of Burundi and

the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and calling upon the

Government to accelerate the ongoing process of dialogue with a view to resuming such

cooperation in an environment of mutual trust,

Taking note of the work of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and its report,2

and expressing its concern about the lack of cooperation between the Government of

Burundi and the Commission, including the denial of entry into the territory,

Reaffirming the commitment of the States members of the Human Rights Council to

cooperate with international human rights mechanisms,

1. Expresses its concern over the continuing challenges regarding the situation

of human rights in Burundi, including economic, social and cultural rights;

2. Strongly condemns all human rights violations and abuses committed in

Burundi, whoever the perpetrators may be;

3. Takes note of the allegations that a significant number of violations and

abuses were committed by the Burundian security forces, including the national intelligence

service and the Imbonerakure, and calls upon the Government of Burundi to continue and

intensify its efforts to combat impunity by conducting thorough, independent and impartial

investigations of alleged perpetrators of such violations and abuses;

4. Expresses concern over the deregistration and suspension of a number of

civil society organizations in Burundi and the working conditions of Burundian human

rights defenders, some of whom are in exile;

5. Urges the Government of Burundi to put an immediate end to human rights

violations and abuses, including arbitrary detention and restrictions on the work of human

rights defenders and the media, and calls upon them to work in accordance with the law;

6. Strongly condemns all public statements and slogans coming from inside or

outside the country that incite violence or hatred towards different groups in Burundian


7. Welcomes the public condemnation of such slogans by officers of the Conseil

national pour la défense de la démocratie — Forces pour la défense de la démocratie, and

calls upon the Government of Burundi and other parties to refrain from any statements or

1 S/2017/165.

2 A/HRC/36/54.

GE.17-17409 3

actions that could exacerbate tensions and incite violence, including gender-based violence,

to publicly condemn such statements and actions and ensure that all those responsible are

held accountable in order to take into account the best interests of the country and to respect

fully the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Burundi and the Arusha Agreement, a

backbone for peace and democracy;

8. Calls upon the Government of Burundi to safeguard and protect the

population, with full respect for international law, to respect, protect and guarantee all

human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, in accordance with the State’s international

obligations, to adhere to the rule of law and to establish transparent accountability for acts

of violence;

9. Calls anew upon the Burundian authorities to conduct thorough and

independent investigations of crimes involving serious violations and abuses of human

rights so that all perpetrators, regardless of their affiliation, are held accountable before the


10. Notes with satisfaction the decision of the Government of Burundi to restore

its full cooperation with the Human Rights Council and the Office of the United Nations

High Commissioner for Human Rights, including by extending full cooperation to its office

in Bujumbura, and encourages the Government to cooperate fully with treaty bodies and to

improve the working conditions of human rights defenders;

11. Encourages the Government of Burundi to cooperate with the regionally led

mediation allowing for genuine and open inter-Burundian dialogue, to be convened without

delay, involving all unarmed stakeholders, both inside and outside the country, who are

convinced of the need for peaceful solutions and are prepared to work to that end, ensuring

the meaningful participation of women, in order to reach a consensual and nationally

owned solution that would aim to preserve peace, strengthen democracy, ensure the

enjoyment of human rights for all in Burundi and restore the prospects and capacity of

Burundi for development;

12. Calls upon the Burundian authorities to ensure equitable political processes

and to create an open and safe space that could lead to the holding of free, fair, inclusive

and transparent democratic elections in accordance with the Arusha Agreement and the

Constitution of Burundi;

13. Welcomes and supports the ongoing efforts made at the regional and

subregional levels, including by the East African Community and the Peace and Security

Commission of the African Union, to monitor the situation of human rights in Burundi and

to contribute to its improvement;

14. Welcomes the work of human rights observers in Burundi appointed by the

African Union, urges the Government of Burundi to sign without delay the memorandum of

understanding with the African Union in order to enable human rights observers and

military experts appointed by the African Union to operate fully in the country in fulfilment

of the responsibilities provided for under their mandate, and calls upon the international

community to give this mandate its full logistical and financial support;

15. Emphasizes the existence in Burundi of national, regional and international

human rights monitoring mechanisms, including the Independent National Commission on

Human Rights, the Ombudsman, the African Union human rights observers and the Office

of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and affirms the need to

strengthen these mechanisms to enable Burundi to improve the situation of human rights

and end human rights violations and abuses;

16. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner urgently to dispatch a team of

three experts with the following mandate:

(a) To engage with the Burundian authorities and all other stakeholders, in

particular United Nations agencies and the African Union, to collect and preserve

information, to determine the facts and circumstances in accordance with international

standards and practice, in cooperation with the Government of Burundi, and to forward to

the judicial authorities of Burundi such information in order to establish the truth and

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ensure that the perpetrators of deplorable crimes are all accountable to the judicial

authorities of Burundi;

(b) To make recommendations for technical assistance and capacity-building and

ways of improving the situation of human rights in the country with a view to providing

support to the country in fulfilling its human rights obligations, ensuring accountability and

combating impunity;

17. Requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to

present to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth sessions an oral

briefing and at its thirty-ninth session a final report during an interactive dialogue;

18. Urges the Government of Burundi to cooperate fully with the team of experts

of the Office of the High Commissioner, to authorize the team to conduct visits to the

country and to provide it with all the information necessary to fulfil its mandate;

19. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

39th meeting

28 September 2017

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 23 to 14, with 9 abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Burundi, China, Congo,

Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, India,

Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, United

Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)


Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Netherlands,

Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom of

Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America


Botswana, Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Panama, Paraguay,

Philippines, Qatar]