United Nations A/hrc/res/S-24/1

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United Nations


General Assembly

Distr.: General

22 December 2015

Original: English
Human Rights Council

Twenty-fourth special session

17 December 2015

Resolution adopted by the Human Rights Council on 17 December 2015

S-24/1. Preventing the deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi

The Human Rights Council,

Guided by the principles and purposes 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 resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007,

Recalling further Human Rights Council resolution 30/27 of 2 October 2015 on technical assistance and capacity-building for Burundi in the field of human rights,

Reaffirming that States have the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Reaffirming also its strong commitment to the sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of Burundi,

Recognizing that the international community, including the Human Rights Council, can play an important and helpful role in preventing the further deterioration of the human rights situation in Burundi by highlighting the human rights violations and abuses and the risk of escalation of the conflict,

Recognizing also the importance of the prevention of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi, especially in the context of past mass atrocities in the region,

Acknowledging that serious abuses and violations of human rights can be an early indication of a descent into conflict or escalation of conflict, as well as a consequence thereof,

Expressing grave concern about the increase in violence and the serious human rights violations and abuses in Burundi shared by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union in her statement on 4 November 2015 and reported in a briefing of the Security Council on 9 November 2015 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the African Union,

Reaffirming that the Arusha Agreement, which has been the basis for the Constitution of Burundi, provides the foundation for peacebuilding, national reconciliation and the strengthening of democracy and the rule of law,

Emphasizing that mediation, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and conflict prevention and resolution can, among other tools, play an important role in preventing disputes from escalating into conflicts and conflicts from escalating further, as well as in advancing the resolution of conflicts and in preventing and/or reducing violations and abuses of human rights,

Taking note with appreciation of the support of the international community for the search for a peaceful solution to the crisis facing Burundi, including, inter alia, the efforts of the African Union, the East African Community, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, previous independent experts on Burundi and the Peacebuilding Commission,

Welcoming Security Council resolution 2248 (2015) of 12 November 2015, in which, inter alia, the Council invited the Secretary-General to deploy a team to Burundi to coordinate and work with the Government of Burundi, the African Union and other partners, the Secretary-General’s appointment of a special adviser on conflict prevention to focus on Burundi, and the letter dated 1 December 2015 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council on the situation in Burundi,1

Welcoming also the adoption by the African Union Peace and Security Commission on 13 November 2015 of its decision on the situation in Burundi, in which it expressed its deep concern about the prevailing insecurity and violence in the country and its humanitarian consequences, its strong condemnation of the human rights violations and abuses committed and its strong condemnation of inflammatory statements made by Burundian political leaders, which have the potential of aggravating the current tensions and creating conditions of violence of untold consequences for Burundi and the region; expressing its determination to address these issues; and outlining the efforts of the African Union to, inter alia, appoint human rights observers and military experts, launch a thorough investigation of violations and abuses of human rights, impose sanctions against those who contribute to the persistence of violence and impede the search for a solution, undertake contingency planning, and further mediation efforts aimed at the resumption of dialogue to resolve these issues,

Taking note with appreciation of the joint statement on Burundi of 12 November 2015 by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the African Union and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission,

Taking note with appreciation also of the statement of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide about Burundi on the first International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime on 9 December 2015, and also noting the importance of ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law to mitigate the risk of atrocity crimes being committed,

Taking note with appreciation further of the statement made on 13 November 2015 by a group of special procedure mandate holders, in which they noted that the situation in Burundi continued to deteriorate with daily reports of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, attacks on independent media and the harassment and killing of human rights defenders, unjustified limitations on freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, adding to more than 200,000 persons displaced by violence,

Emphasizing that an inclusive, internationally mediated dialogue and the disarmament of all illegally armed groups and individuals constitute fundamental elements that contribute to the prevention of further violations and abuses of human rights in Burundi,

Stressing the urgency of convening an inter-Burundian dialogue in coordination with the Government of Burundi and all concerned and peaceful stakeholders, both those who are in Burundi and those outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis, taking note of the establishment of the National Commission for the inter-Burundian Dialogue, and stressing the importance that the Commission be inclusive, transparent and convened promptly,

Calling for the reinforcement of regionally led mediation efforts, including those of the East African Community and the African Union, calling also for consultations with the Government of Burundi and other stakeholders, and underlining the need to expedite the preparatory process of the dialogue, including the convening of a pre-dialogue consultation involving all relevant international facilitators, to ensure an adequate preparation of the inter-Burundian dialogue and its success,

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