Agathon Rwasa

Ce site web publie les atrocités des rebelles FNL du Burundi et mène une campagne pour traduire en justice le dirigeant des FNL, Agathon Rwasa. Nous essayons aussi de mettre à nue la question d'impunité en génerale. This website aims to highlight atrocities by the Burundian FNL rebels, and campaigns to see FNL leader Agathon Rwasa brought to justice. We also aim to highlight the issue of impunity worldwide.

Friday, February 10, 2006

"All past events should be investigated and prosecuted" - Amnesty International urges an end to Provisional Immunity in Burundi

Impunity for human rights abuses is one of the most serious threats to the full enjoyment of the rights and freedoms of the individual. The measures of provisional immunity taken by the different governments of Burundi over the last five years have failed to address the need to end the climate of impunity that has prevailed for decades and may have a detrimental impact on the reconciliation process in Burundi. Impunity denies victims and their families the right to have those responsible for the crimes brought to justice in a court, to know the truth and to obtain full reparation.

The "Law of 21 November 2003 relating to the judicial proceedings for provisional immunity of political leaders returning from exile" provided provisional immunity to political leaders allegedly involved in crimes with a "political" element, on the understanding that in the future the truth would be established and the perpetrators would be held to account for their crimes. Amnesty International is concerned at the absence of any progress by the government of Burundi in ending impunity for past crimes under international law and other human rights abuses with regard to any of the three components of the fight against impunity: justice, truth and full reparations.

In particular, the organization is concerned that the granting of provisional immunity has not been accompanied by the necessary steps required to address the issue of impunity.

Most recently, on 3 January 2006, President Pierre Nkurunziza decreed that "political prisoners" would be granted provisional immunity. His statement followed the recommendations made by a special commission, established in November 2005, in charge of identifying "political prisoners". Six days after the Presidential decree, on 9 January 2006, the Minister of Justice officially ordered the release of 673 "political prisoners" detained in Burundi’s prisons.

The scope of these steps granting provisional immunity is unclear. For example, according to the law of November 2003, provisional immunity is defined as "the suspension of any legal proceedings for those who have committed political offences”" Consequently, this raises the question of whether or not the terms for provisional immunity could then be applied to those who had already been previously convicted and sentenced for offences that would later qualify as political.
Although the Minister of Justice declared on 10 January 2006 that released "political prisoners" would have to appear before a truth and reconciliation commission, it has yet to be established and Amnesty International is not aware of any serious steps that have been taken to do so in the foreseeable future. Such a commission -- if established in accordance with international standards as an independent and impartial body representing all components of civil society and with an effective mandate, powers and resources -- could make a contribution to one aspect of the fight against impunity.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1606 on 20 June 2005, which endorsed the establishment of a special chamber within the court system of Burundi. So far, the negotiations between the UN and the government have not yet begun. Little progress has been made to set up this special chamber, to draft the necessary amendments to the criminal procedure code or to provide the necessary training for its staff. In addition, no serious step appears to have been taken to enact the necessary legislation defining the crimes, principles of criminal responsibility or defences in a manner consistent with the strictest standards under international law, including the Geneva Conventions and their Protocols, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Amnesty International reaffirms its call to bring to justice all perpetrators of serious human rights abuses in a fair trial that strictly complies with international standards and without recourse to the death penalty.

Amnesty International urges the authorities to promptly establish an independent and impartial truth and reconciliation commission. There should be thorough and public investigations into allegations of human rights violations. A full account of the truth should be provided to the victims, their relatives and society. The non-judicial process, however, should not substitute criminal investigations and prosecutions by an independent court and should not obstruct or limit criminal investigations or civil proceedings.

Finally, Burundi legislation does not guarantee the right of victims of crimes under international law and other human rights abuses or their families to full reparation, including restitution, rehabilitation, compensation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. Similarly, it does not provide for effective judicial remedies to award such reparations. Amnesty International also calls for effective guarantees and judicial procedures to be established to ensure full reparation for all victims of crimes under international law and other human rights abuses in Burundi.


Since the early 1960s, the Burundian authorities have not taken concrete and targeted measures to combat impunity. The willingness of past governments to carry out independent and impartial investigations into gross human rights violations, bring to justice the alleged perpetrators and provide victims of violations with redress has been meagre.

Each of the ethnic groups has accused the other of being responsible for gross human rights violations. Hutus often make reference to the mass killings of their community during 1972 by the government army. Tutsis, on the other hand, highlight the massacres of 1993.

None of the recent steps to provide provisional immunity to persons involved in "political crimes" have brought justice, truth or full reparations.

First, the Arusha agreement for the peace and reconciliation in Burundi (August 2000), signed by most of the parties to the conflict except the CNDD-FDD (Conseil National pour la Démocratie -- Forces de Défense de la Démocratie) and the FNL (Forces Nationales de Libération), provided for the granting of provisional immunity for "political crimes" committed prior to the agreement.

Second, by the end of November 2003, the Burundian national assembly enacted the "Law of 21 November 2003 relating to the judicial proceedings for provisional immunity of political leaders returning from exile". According to this law, provisional immunity would be given to political leaders who had committed political offences from 1 July 1962 onwards. Crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes were excluded from this provisional immunity, in accordance with international law prohibiting amnesties and similar measures of impunity for such crimes; however other crimes under international law, such as torture or ill-treatment, were covered by the provisional immunity. (This exclusion, however, did not guarantee that persons suspected of such crimes would be investigated and, if there was sufficient admissible evidence, prosecuted either for such crimes or for ordinary serious crimes, such as murder, assault, rape and kidnapping.)

Third, in March 2004, the CNDD-FDD and the transitional government signed the Pretoria Protocol on Pending issues for power-sharing in Burundi (Sur les questions restées en suspens en vue du partage des pouvoirs politique, de défense et de sécurité au Burundi) to extend provisional immunity to CNDD-FDD leaders and fighters, as well as government security forces.

All past events should be investigated and prosecuted if the reconciliation process is to be successful and justice is to be done. Such measures have been disregarded by past governments out of the need to create a "healing silence".

Take action - Fax your MP!
Take action - sign the Gatumba petition

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Act to end the genocide in Darfur

Save Darfur Campaign
Darfur: A genocide we can stop

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Pope Bendedict urges the FNL to stop killing people

From Catholic World News

Pope Benedict XVI hopes that the death of a Jesuit priest, killed by gunfire in Burundi on February 4, will prompt rebels to reconsider their violent approach.

In a telegram of condolences, send to Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the apostolic nuncio in Burundi, the Holy Father expressed his sorrow upon hearing of the death of Father Elie Koma, who was struck by three bullets as he drove toward his home in the capital city of Bujumbura. The Pope urged "those who continue committing acts of violence to definitively renounce such works of death, so that the inhabitants of this country may live in peace and security."

Father Guillaume Ndayishimiye, a colleague of the slain priest, said that Father Koma died as he was returning home after having celebrated Masses for two religious communities and then visited his sister of the capital city. As he returned, a rebel force shot out the tires of his car, and once he had stopped, they killed the priest with a volley of gunfire from the rear of the car. Father Ndayishimiye said that the rebels were in flight after having shot and killed a military officer earlier in the evening. Father Ndayishimiye's account of the killing differs from earlier reports, which had said that the rebels were engaged in a gunfight with government troops, after having been caught while looting a warehouse.

Burundi has been wracked by civil war since 1993, with rebels of the Hutu tribe battling the armed forces controlled by the Tutsi minority. More than 300,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed during a decade of conflict. After a delicate truce, only one rebel group remains in open conflict with the government.

Take action - Fax your MP!
Take action - sign the Gatumba petition

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Monday, February 06, 2006

FNL apologists cry foul as United Nations calls on the group to disarm unconditionally

"The international community has waited long enough. It has given the FNL sufficient time to choose between peace and war. We think we need to move to the next phase... They should unconditionally disarm... This change of tone is easily explained and understandable because the UN can no longer accept people continuing to be killed" - UN spokesperson Penangnini Toure.

The Campaign for the Prosecution of Agathon Rwasa welcomes the decision by the United Nations to demand an end to FNL violence, and the growing international consensus that firmer action is now needed.

Predictably, FNL apologists have attacked the UN for it's new-found resolve, even as the FNL murdered another four people, including a Catholic priest.

The The anonymous author of an article on the "African News Dimension" website claims that "many Burundi analysts" believe the UN's comments are "ill advised", but says nothing about who these analysts are, or what the basis is of their alleged expertise.

The article makes no mention of the August 2004 Gatumba massacre, which is widely believed to have been a joint attack by the FNL and its Congolese and Rwandan Hutu-extremist allies, or of the longstanding evidence offered by Human Rights Watch and other groups of links between the FNL and former members of the Rwandan army implicated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The article appears to suggest that such claims have been fabricated by the Burundian government for the sake of convenience.

"African News Dimension" asserts, without evidence, that "simple negotiation with the FNL would settle definitively and at lower cost the question of the armed struggle in Burundi."

The article makes no mention of the January 2004 meeting between the FNL and President Ndayizeye in the Netherlands, at which the FNL refused all offers of a peace deal, or the May 2005 meeting between Ndayizeye and the FNL in Tanzania, where the FNL promised to stop fighting and then broke their promise within days, or the further offer of peace talks made by President Nkurunziza after his election in August 2005, which the FNL rejected.

Take action - Fax your MP!
Take action - sign the Gatumba petition

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Sunday, February 05, 2006

AC Genocide condemns release of Burundian genocide convicts

Ce 4 février 2006, les militants anti-génocides regroupés au sein de l'association AC GENOCIDE Canada, branche régionale de Toronto se sont retrouvés dans le cadre de leur réunion mensuelle. La rencontre, à laquelle participaient aussi des non-membres, portait sur l'état des fronts à intérieur et à l'extérieur du Burundi. Après avoir fait le contour de la situation actuelle, les participants ont décide d'informer l'opinion de ce qui suit :

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada constate avec amertume que la pratique et l'idéologie génocidaires restent ancrées au Burundi
L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada condamne avec la dernière énergie la récente libération de 673 génocidaires par le Gouvernement du Burundi. Elle rappelle à ce dernier Convention pour la Prévention et la Répression du Crime de Génocide, dont il est signataire, stipule que le crime de génocide est inamnistiable est imprescriptible

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada rappelle que les récentes libérations en masse des génocidaires fait suite à une longue série d'élargissement de bien d'autres figures du génocide burundais. La série en question comprend, mais ne se limite pas à: Pierre Nkurunziza, porté à la Magistrature suprême alors que c'est un condamné à mort; Aloys Hakizimana, ancien gouverneur de la province de Bujumbura Rural, condamné pour organisation de massacres genocidaires mais sorti de prison pour prester comme médecin privé de Domitien Ndayizeye lorsqu'il était Chef de l'Etat; l'ancien médecin provincial de Karuzi libéré alors qu'il était condamné à mort pour participation aux massacres génocidaires ;

L'Antenne régionale de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada tient à rappeler également les cas de Zénon Ndabaneze et Léonard Nyangoma qui n'ont jamais été inquiète en dépit des mandats lancés contre eux et qu n'ont jamais été retirés (le premier par le Parquet Général du Burundi pour l'assassinat de Monseigneur Joachim Ruhuna, le second par Interpol pour crimes de guerre et crimes contre l'humanité)

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada invite l'Organisation des Nations Unies à revoir sa position vis-à-vis du génocide commis au Burundi. Elle demande instamment que l'ONU remette sur son site le rapport S/1996/682 sur le génocide commis par le FRODEBU contre les tutsi en 1993. Son retrait prolongé et pour des raisons inexpliquées risque de donner raison à ceux qui allèguent que l'ONU participerait à la négation du génocide anti-tutsi que commettent le FRODEBU, le CNDD, les FDD, le PALIPEHUTU, les FNL et bien d'autres organisations du genre qui pullulent dans ce pays où ils dominent toutes les institutions étatiques.

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada s'inquiète que la récente libération des génocidaires ne donne à ces derniers l'occasion de poursuivre leur sale besogne notamment en éliminant les témoins du génocide

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada rend un vibrant homage aux militants anti-genocide de l'intérieur qui n'ont jamais fléchi dans la lutte malgré leurs conditions de travail que rend plus délicates la présence d'organisations génocidaires à la tête de l'Etat.

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada salue la marche-manifestation contre la libération des criminels que les militants anti-génocide de l'intérieur organisent ce 05 février 2006 conjointement avec les autres organisations opposées à l'impunité du crime de génocide.

L'Antenne régionale de Toronto de l'AC GENOCIDE Canada invite le peuple burundais dans son entièreté à célébrer le 15eme anniversaire de l'adoption de la Charte de l'Unité Nationale en adhérant à l'ACCORD CADRE POUR LA RESTAURATION D'UN ETAT DE DROIT, le seul qui souscrit à l'esprit et à la lettre de cette Charte et qui est de ce fait, le seul capable d'offrir au Burundi une meilleure option que l'Accord d'Arusha qui consacre l'impunité du crime de génocide.

Take action - Fax your MP!
Take action - sign the Gatumba petition

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