UN Human Rights Council 43: interactive dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

10 Mar 2020 10:44 AM

International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, yesterday delivered a UK statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi.

Thank you, Madam President,

The United Kingdom reaffirms its full support for the Commission of Inquiry and welcomes this presentation.

The UK remains concerned by the human rights situation in Burundi, in particular ahead of the May 2020 elections. We are concerned by the restriction of democratic space and reports of pre-election violence, including violence against political parties’ members. We urge the Burundian Government to ensure the May 2020 elections are peaceful and inclusive.

The UK welcomes the succession of Evariste Ndayishimiye as leader of the CNDD-FDD and as its presidential candidate for the elections. This is a positive and important step for Burundi’s democratic trajectory. We now call on the Government to promote unity within the CNDD-FDD party and more broadly across the country to minimise the risk of violence being triggered by the electoral process. It is also crucial the government enables opposition parties to operate effectively.

Ensuring the 2020 elections are peaceful, credible and inclusive would be a welcome step forward in the protection of human rights within the country.

Madam President,

We would welcome the Commissioners’ views on what can be done by the international community to support peaceful and inclusive elections in Burundi.

Thank you.