Burundi: one year of bloody crisis

en es fa fr

On 26 April 2015, thousands of people took to the streets of Bujumbura, Burundi’s capital, to protest peacefully against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term. The repression by police forces was immediate and brutal. 5 civilians were shot dead, including a seventeen-year-old student, Jean Nepomuscène Komezamahoro, who was shot down at close range by a police officer while he was down on his knees and had his hands up in surrender.

That day was the beginning of a bloody crisis for Burundi, marked by serious human rights violations, committed in most part by Burundian security forces by order of the authorities. One year later, the toll of the repression appears to have reached at least 700 people killed, 4300 detained, 800 disappeared, hundreds of people tortured, dozens of women victim of sexual violence, and thousands of arrests. 250 000 Burundians have already fled the country.

Since April 2015, FIDH and its member organisation in Burundi, ITEKA, have been documenting the serious on-going violations, notably at the occasion of a fact-finding mission in the country in March 2016. They alerted the international community on the risk of perpetration of mass crimes and acts of genocide. On 14 April 2016, they called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor to open a preliminary examination of the situation in Burundi, which she did on 25 April.

One year on, our organisations compile here in a dossier the conclusions of their investigations and call on the international community to act immediately to stop the deadly circle of violence and to prevent mass atrocities. FIDH and ITEKA also pay tribute to all victims of the crisis.

Read more