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U.S. Statement at Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on the Burundi
March 11, 2021

Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on the Burundi

Statement by the United States of America
46th Session of the Human Rights Council

As Delivered by Phillip Riblett
March 11, 2021

Thank you, Mr. Vice President. We welcome the Burundian Government’s recent actions to begin to address human rights concerns, including freeing imprisoned journalists, reinstating some banned media outlets, and prosecuting some government and ruling party members accused of abuse and torture crimes.

We remain concerned about reports of intimidation and violence by members of state security, intelligence forces, and their proxies and urge the government to continue to investigate and prosecute cases of unlawful killings, forced disappearance, torture, sexual violence, and other human rights abuses.

We appreciate the Commissioners’ continued thorough reporting in a difficult environment and urge the Burundian government to allow the Commission to reenter the country and to resume cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. We remind the Government of the importance of its productive participation in internationally ratified human rights mechanisms and conventions and invite them to address all concerns raised by the Commission and the Council.

Mr. President, in your remarks, you noted the government has been reluctant to engage with the UN on human rights issues. Would you be able to elaborate further on the current barriers to engagement?