Thank you, Madam President,
The United Kingdom welcomes recent steps taken by the Government of Burundi that reaffirm its stated commitments on human rights, including the sentencing of policemen for killing civilians, the release of the four Iwacu journalists and engagement with banned media outlets.
However the presentation demonstrates that further reforms are required to restore respect for human rights and other fundamental freedoms in Burundi.
The UK remains particularly concerned by reports of continuing violations by the Imbonerakure and security forces. Impunity continues for numerous perpetrators of human rights violations, and political prisoners and human rights defenders remain imprisoned. We remain concerned about the erosion of the spirit of the Arusha Accords by the current composition of the cabinet.
We urge the Government to deliver further progress on human rights, good governance, rule of law and accountability, over a sustained period of time. Cooperation with the Human Rights Council and the Commission of Inquiry would be an essential step in this process.
We would welcome the Commissioners’ views on what more the international community can do to support and encourage the Government as it seeks to promote and protect the freedom and rights of all Burundians.