Decision 1 (47) on Burundi : Burundi. 16/08/95.
Convention Abbreviation: CERD
A. Decisions adopted by the Committee
26. The following decisions were adopted by the Committee under this agenda item at its forty-seventh session.
1 (47). The situation in Burundi
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,
Alarmed by reports of the breakdown of law and order in large parts of the territory of Burundi, a State party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which is leading to a further deterioration in a critical situation that has the potential for genocide,
Recalling its decision 2 (45) on the same subject, and reiterating the concerns and recommendations contained in that decision,
Fearing that the breakdown of law and order may cancel the benefits of the current efforts of the United Nations to support civil institutions in the country,
Endorsing the recommendations of the Representative of the Secretary-General (E/CN.4/1995/50/Add.2, chap. III) and the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (E/CN.4/1996/4/Add.1, chap. VI),
(a) To ask the General Assembly and the Security Council to take decisive steps with a view to stopping all violence and preventing another explosive conflict and to begin, in cooperation with the Government and all political forces in Burundi, to implement the following recommendations in particular:
(i) A new police force should be created, staffed by persons drawn proportionately from all ethnic groups who have not been implicated in earlier human rights violations and who can act expeditiously when there is any risk of further ethnic violence;
(ii) The army should be reduced in size and organized for the defence of the territorial integrity of the country. In the prevailing circumstances the army should not be used for the suppression of civil disorders. A programme should be adopted to ensure that, within the present generation, the army is composed of persons drawn proportionately from all ethnic groups;
(iii) The judiciary and the civil administration should be reorganized and retrained so that they represent the whole society. The functioning and impartiality of the criminal courts require close attention. Human rights violations on the part of the military must be treated as criminal offences;
(iv) Measures should be taken as a matter of urgency to halt incitement to or promotion of racial or ethnic hatred disseminated by radio or other mass media and to ensure that those responsible for such incitement or promotion are brought to justice. A special chamber of the court of Bujumbura should be created to deal with criminal offences committed by those responsible for such violations;
(v) Residential neighbourhoods of Bujumbura which previously were ethnically mixed should be rehabilitated. New associations should be established to channel the energies of young people into economic rehabilitation and social development;
(vi) A national institution for the promotion and protection of human rights should be established in accordance with recommendations of the Commission on Human Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The institution should implement programmes and projects to combat ethnic prejudices and promote peaceful relations between the various ethnic groups of the society;
(vii) An international presence should be maintained including, in particular, the maintenance of a team of human rights observers;
(b) Also to ask the General Assembly to appeal to all States and to the Security Council to halt the supply of arms to all parties until law and order in Burundi are secured.
16 August 1995