The Government of Norway welcomes the delegation of Burundi and would like to thank the delegation for the presentation of the National Report.
Norway welcomes the establishment of the National Independent Human Rights Commission, the institution of the Ombudsman; the creation within the National Police of a Directorate-General for Civil Protection and also the establishment of a specialized unit for the protection of minors and women. Adequate funding will be essential for successful implementation of these institutions.
Norway is concerned about the high number of extrajudicial killings documented by the UN and the lack of investigations and trials in most cases. We are encouraged to see a decline in numbers in 2012 compared to 2011. However, Norway recommends your government to more actively take steps to break the cycle of impunity.
It is very encouraging that a draft law on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been forwarded to the National Assembly. Norway recommends that the Government of Burundi ensures the independence and credibility of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, inter alia, by consulting with affected groups. Further, Norway recommends that Burundi secures the protection of witnesses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, also those who have testimonies which may be directed at people with power.
Elections will take place in 2015 and the Government of Burundi is committed to free and fair elections. Today, several politicians are in exile and opposition politicians have been intimidated when holding gatherings in Burundi. Norway recommends that the government work with civil society institutions and other partners to ensure a democratic process leading up to the elections in 2015.