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with request for inclusion in the agenda for the debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure
by Johan Van Hecke
on behalf of the ALDE Group
on Burundi

Procedura : 2008/2583(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on Burundi

The European Parliament,

- having regard to previous resolutions on Burundi

-having regard to the action plan adopted in Cape Town on 22 February 2008

- having regard to the Declaration by the Presidency of the EU of 23 April 2008

- having regard to the 2008 Human Rights Watch report "Every Morning They Beat Me: Police Abuses in Burundi"

- having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure

  • A.whereas after 14 years of civil war Burundi has yet to establish lasting peace and is currently facing a critical humanitarian and socio-economic situation
  • B.whereas over the past two years international efforts - including the regional peace initiative on peace in Burundi - to establish a peace agreement between the government and the Forces of National Liberation (FNL), have been unsuccessful
  • C.whereas negotiations between the government and the FNL broke down in July 2007 when the FNL walked out of the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM), which was created to oversee a ceasefire accord signed in September 2006.
  • D.whereas since 17 April fighting has erupted again between the government troops and rebel FNL in Burundi, making thousands of civilians flee their homes and resulting in the deaths of 50 rebel fighters
  • E.whereas in early May, the foreign ministers of Tanzania and Uganda, meeting under the auspices of the Regional Initiative on Peace in Burundi, urged the FNL and other senior rebel leaders to leave Tanzania where they are based and travel to Burundi to engage in the peace negotiations.
  • F.whereas more than 700 households (around 3,500 people) are said to be in the care of authorities now, waiting for food and emergency supplies.
  • G.whereas this latest bout of fighting is part of a series of clashes which have left even more households (35,000 people) displaced.
  • H.whereas Burundi's security forces have allegedly illegally detained about 200 people accused of supporting FNL rebels
  • I.whereas on 2 May, the government reported that four rebel fighters and one Burundian Army soldier had died in what was described as an FNL-initiated ambush.
  • J.whereas the climate of impunity in Burundi has created a situation where torture and illegal detention is rife and has involved the Burundi police force
  • K.whereas, the Burundi national police force, established under a transitional government in 2004, is not very well trained and is made up of former rebels, soldiers and police officers
  • L.whereas UNICEF assisted in the demobilisation of over 3000 child soldiers between 2004 and 2006 ; whereas children at a demobilisation centre recently escaped and went on a rampage

1.  Calls on all parties to resume negotiations and dialogue and move swiftly to implement the ceasefire and JVMM;

2.  Urges in particular the FNL, and its leader Agathon Rwasa, to engage constructively in the peace process

3.  Urges the international community to mobilise in order to prevent further deterioration of the situation; in this regard supports the South African facilitation and regional negotiation efforts and also UN-led mediation efforts by the UN Commission for the Consolidation of peace

4.  Calls on the government to ensure the rapid distribution of emergency food aid in view of the critical humanitarian situation, a situation compounded by years of restricted access to healthcare,

5.  Calls on the government of Burundi to take immediate action to end the climate of impunity, ensure that perpetrators of abuses are brought to justice and improve the training of police forces

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council the Commission, the African Union and the governments of Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa