Human Rights Council adopts two resolutions on Burundi

The Council also chose to extend for a year the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and recommended that the UN Recommends that the General Assembly submit the Commission's most recent report on the human rights situation in Burundi "to all relevant UN bodies for its consideration and appropriate action".

It appeared to have succeeded on Thursday when the Council agreed to send the three experts, backing a resolution that also welcomed Burundi's decision "to restore full cooperation" with the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Among the highlights of the final day the Council's work for the session, the 47-member body adopted a resolution in which it extended the mandate of the independent global fact-finding mission on Myanmar. It also adopted a text on cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights.

"As more evidence emerges, it is clear that the atrocities committed by Myanmar state security forces amount to crimes against humanity", appealed the coalition.

The Burundian government has so far refused to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry, despite the Commission's repeated requests and initiatives.

"Burundian officials at the highest level" should be held accountable for crimes against humanity and a list of suspects has been drawn up, the commission said earlier this month. "Burundi publicly and completely rejects the report and asks for its invalidity", said Rénovat Tabou, Representative of Burundi to the Human Right Council during the 36th session.

The Commission of Enquiry into Burundi was created by Human Rights Council resolution 33/24, adopted on 30 September 2016, to conduct a thorough investigation into human rights violations and abuses committed in Burundi since April 2015, determine whether any of them may constitute global crimes and identify their alleged perpetrators. "There can be no solution to the crisis in Burundi without strict respect for human rights and a firm commitment to fighting impunity", said Françoise Hampson, a member of the Commission.

"There is a clear will of the European Union to instrumentalise the Council to politicise human rights", he said. We realize that there is a hidden agenda behind this commission. We also remain concerned about the involvement in these violations of state agents (in particular members of the intelligence services, the police and the army) and Imbonerakure, members of the youth league of the ruling party. "For us, this is a big step". The perpetrators of the crimes that will be identified by the three experts will be judged by the Burundian judiciary. The withdrawal will take effect on 27 October.

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