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16 January-16 March 2016

Weekly Media Monitoring report for Burundi
Posted on March 18, 2016

Contents

  1. Alleged Rwandan spy arrested
  2. UN Independent Inquiry ends Burundi visit
  3. Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  4. Accusations of human rights violations
  5. EU stops aid to Burundi government/International arrest warrants suspended
  6. Verdict for authors of putsch 

1. Alleged Rwandan spy arrested
State Owned Media

 « Un militaire rwandais arrêté au Burundi pour espionnage », Agence Burundaise de Presse, 14 March 2016

  • A Rwandan military official was arrested on March 7 in Rushenya hill town for allegedly spying on behalf of the Rwandan government.
  • The National Intelligence Service (SNR) reported to the press on March 12, that the alleged spy was delivering a message to the sisters of the parish of Ruza, with a request to host 200 rebels who were primed to carry out attacks in the following days. The SNR stated that this was the alleged spy’s third mission.
  • The spy revealed that Burundians undergo military training in various Rwandan military camps located near the Burundi-Rwanda border, and they would be carrying out attach in less than five months.
  • The National Police spokesperson, Commissioner Peter Nkurikiye, announced that the appropriate laws would b applied in addressing the crime.

 

Social Media

@Iburundi

iburundi quotes the Rwandaeye in arguing that that the alleged military spy was a thief, and the  Burundian police are making baseless accusations in order to sully the Rwandan image. Brigadier General Joseph Nzabamwita, spokesperson of the Rwandan army (RDF) says the following  "This kind of statement is not only childish, pathetic and lacks credibility. Why the Rwandan defense forces operate go to Burundi? There is no one with that name within the Rwandan forces. This man is not part of the Rwandan defense forces.”


1. UN Independent Inquiry ends Burundi visit
State-owned media

« Fin de la visite des experts indépendants de l’ONU au Burundi », Agence Burundaise de Presse

  • The members of the UN Independent Inquiry on Burundi established by the Council on Human Rights completed their first visit. The visit spanned between March 1st to the 8th, and entailed meetings, interview, and exchanges with government officials, including one of the two vice presidents of the country, political leaders, civil society groups, and citizens whose human rights had been violated.
  • They also visited Gitega prison, which is located two hours from the capital Bujumbura, and met with detainees who had been accused of participating in the failed coup of may 2015.
  • Their findings will be communicated to the Council of Human Rights on March 21st in Geneva. The experts will visit again n Burundi in June and July to carry on the second part of their investigations.

3. Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission
State-owned media

« La Commission Vérité et Réconciliation (CVR) entame sa phase opérationnelle », Agence Burundaise de Presse, 10 March 2016

  • The operational phase of Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was launched March 4, 2016 in Kayanza.
  • Mrs. Clorilde Niragira, the Secretary General of the TRC, organized a press conference on March 10, 2016, during which she presented the five missions of the TRC.
  • Establish the truth about the Burundian crises sic July 1 1962 until 2008, and report the violations of human rights and international humanitarian laws that were committed during the crises.
  • Determine if the crimes committed are war crimes, crimes against humanity, murder, or otherwise.
  • Publish lists of victims, murdered or missing persons, perpetrators, and heroes.
  • Focus on building a peaceful society through the promotion of forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration of dignity of the victims
  • TRC proposes a rewrite of Burundian history based on the truth revealed during the TRC process, by Burundian people. The final work will be a collection of published recommendations and reforms based on the findings of the TRC to ensure sustainable peace, as well as understand the root causes of the crises and rights violations that have occurred.

 


4. Accusations of human rights violations
Privately Owned Media

« De nouveaux cas d’enlèvements, tortures et exécutions dans la semaine du 05 au 12 mars selon SOS-Torture », RSF Bonesha FM, 14 March 2016

  • According to a SOS-Torture report published on March 12, several cases of arrests, murders, executions and torture occurred during the week of March 5 to 12, 2016.
  • The police allegedly arrested and attacked several people following the grenade attach on the Kamenge district on March 5.
  • The report mentions that dozens more people were arrested in the Muramyya and Bururi province; amongst the arrested were students, and their families have not been made aware of their circumstances.

 


5. EU stops aid to Burundi government/International arrests warrants suspended
Privately-owned media

« La suspension de l’aide de l’UE au Burundi : Bujumbura craint la montée du terrorisme », RSF Bonesha FM, 16 March 2016

  • The European Union has decided to suspend its direct financial support to the Burundian Government.
  • In a statement by Phillipe Nzobonariba, a government spokesperson released March 15, the Secretary General of the Government regrets that the EU does not recognize the positive progress that the Government had made regarding security in the country.
  • According to Nzobonariba, the Burundian Government has excelled in addressing terrorist groups. He fears that the EU’s decision risks the chance of encouraging terrorists, as they may interpreted this gesture as a reward for their crimes.

« Le Parquet Général de la République suspend des mandats internationaux contre certains politiciens qui sont à l’étranger » Radio Isanganiro, 21 February 2016

  •  The international arrest warrants, which had been issued against ten people, have been cancelled. The Prosecutor General of the Republic, Valentin Bagorikunda explained the reasons behind the cancellation of the orders, and requests that Interpol services disable these mandates.

6. Verdict for authors of putsch
Privately-owned media

« Le verdict des auteurs du putsch manqué est tombé », Radio Isanganiro, 16 January 2016

  • On January 15, 2016 28 alleged perpetrators of the failed coup heard their verdict. Four generals including Cyrille Ndayirukiye were sentenced to life imprisonment with an additional penalty of ten years each.
  • Another group of nine defendants was sentenced to thirty years with an additional ten-year sentence, and eight others were sentenced to five years in prison. Seven defendants were acquitted.
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