Remarks at a Third Committee Interactive Dialogue with Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Ambassador Bisa Williams
Senior Area Advisor for African Affairs
New York, New York
October 22, 2021


The United States thanks the Commission for its valuable reporting over the past five years.

We welcome the government’s steps to address human rights concerns, including reinstating previously banned media outlets, loosening restrictions on media registration and content, pardoning and releasing some imprisoned journalists, and releasing human rights defenders Nestor Nibitanga [nihBEE-tahn-guh] and Germain Rukuki [roo-KOO-kee].

However, we remain concerned by ongoing reports of intimidation, violence, and forced disappearances by state security forces and their proxies, as well as abuses committed by other armed groups.

We urge the government to investigate thoroughly and prosecute appropriately all cases of alleged unlawful killings, forced disappearances, torture, and other human rights violations and abuses.

Long-term peace and stability in Burundi require increased efforts to end impunity and ensure accountability for human rights violations and abuses.

We recognize Burundi’s progress as indicated by the transition from a Commission of Inquiry to a Special Rapporteur and strongly encourage the government to cooperate with this new mechanism.

Question: What further steps can be taken to support accountability for human rights violations and abuses in Burundi?