Human Rights Council Session 42 - Statement of the Kingdom of the Netherlands on Burundi – Item 4

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi

Mr. President,

We align with the EU statement.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of Burundi’s key development partners. Within this partnership, the Netherlands values having a dialogue on human rights with Burundi.

We would like to thank the Commission of Inquiry for its valuable work. The report confirms – again -- that serious human rights violations, including crimes against humanity, have continued to take place in Burundi. The documented general climate of impunity is unacceptable.

The COI has identified eight common risk factors for criminal atrocities in Burundi. It argues that the 2020 elections pose a major risk.

In this situation, the continuation of independent monitoring is vital. We therefore support the extension of the Commission of Inquiry’s mandate.

The Netherlands urges the Government of Burundi to enable a conducive environment for free, transparent, credible and inclusive elections and to prevent violence and human rights violations. This includes ensuring freedom of expression and media freedom, both online and offline.

The Netherlands commends the announcement of a Presidential pardon for more than 3,000 prisoners. We appeal to the Burundian authorities to follow up on this process by releasing others who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained.

We deeply regret that Burundi does not cooperate with UN Treaty Bodies. We call on the Government of Burundi not to isolate itself from the international community, to invest in the relationship with the COI and to reestablish ties with the OHCHR in the country.

Chair, Mr Diène,

Your call to move from early warning to early action is loud and clear. How can the international community fulfill its Responsibility to Protect?