Procedure : 2015/2723(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0668/2015

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 09/07/2015 - 12.11
CRE 09/07/2015 - 12.11
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0657/2015

to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Burundi (2015/2723(RSP))

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Malin Bjork, Pablo Iglesias, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Sabine Lösing, Paloma Lopez Bermejo, Merja Kyllönen on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Burundi (2015/2723(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–       having regard to the Cotonou Agreement and its clause on democracy and human rights,

–       having regard to the mission reports and priority avenues of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Burundi, in particular in relation to the fight against hunger and malnutrition,

–       having regard to the Arusha Accords of 28 August 2000, in particular Article 7(3),

–       having regard to the statements made by UN representatives concerning human rights in Burundi ahead of the presidential elections to be held in 2015,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Burundi, in particular those of 18 September 2014 and 11 February 2015,

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Burundi dropped two places in the Human Development Index (HDI) from 178th in 2013 to 180th in 2014; whereas four in five people live on less than USD 1.25 and 66.9 % live below the poverty line; whereas in 2013 per capita gross national product was USD 280, putting Burundi in second-to-last place in the world after Malawi;

B.     whereas at least half of all Burundians suffer from chronic malnutrition, including nearly two-thirds (58 %) of children under five; whereas the country has the highest hunger rates of the 120 countries measured by the Global Hunger Index in 2012;

C.     whereas Burundi is still recovering from the civil war that lasted from 1993 to 2005 and cost 300 000 lives; whereas although progress was made after the war ended, especially in the areas of education and health, the situation has worsened once again since 2010;

D.     whereas the political climate has been dominated since 2013 by the general election due to take place in July/August 2015;

E.     whereas the political tensions in Burundi have been further exacerbated by President Nkurunziza’s bid to secure a third term in office; whereas in 2010 almost all the opposition parties boycotted the presidential and general elections, clearing the way for a landslide victory by the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD; whereas the opposition is threatening to boycott the elections once again;

F.     whereas on 25 April 2015, in spite of national and international pressure, the CNDD-FDD party officially endorsed Pierre Nkurunziza’s plans to stand for a third term in office, and whereas Nkurunziza submitted his candidature on 8 May 2015;

G.     whereas opposition and pro-government demonstrations have been growing in size and degenerated into riots on 26, 27 and 28 April; whereas the army was deployed; whereas in April the country’s radio stations were forbidden to cover the demonstrations and were subsequently closed down; whereas military action is still being taken;

H.     whereas, since the army was first deployed, some 78 people have been killed, more than 500 have been injured, 800 have been arrested and more than 100 000 have had to flee the country;

I.      whereas the violence has been further aggravated by the involvement of militia groups linked to the regime in power; whereas a number of NGOs and human rights activists have denounced the infiltration of the police and armed forces by CNDD-FDD militia groups; whereas there have been claims that these groups are collaborating with Hutu groups from the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR); whereas the militia groups and the secret services have been implicated in extra-judicial executions for years;

J.      whereas the current situation could plunge the country back into civil war, given that Pierre Nkurunziza’s attempts to run for a third term in office are at odds with Article 7(3) of the Arusha Accords, which states that the President of the Republic ‘shall be elected for a term of five years, renewable only once’ and that ‘no one may serve more than two presidential terms’; whereas the clampdown on opposition parties is becoming ever more severe, which is making election campaigning impossible;

K.     whereas the international community has unanimously condemned the regime in power for its actions and for suspending the planned African Union (AU) and EU election observation missions;

L.     whereas general and local elections took place on Monday, 29 June 2015 amid high tensions and were boycotted by the opposition;

1.      Expresses serious concern at the situation in Burundi in the run-up to the forthcoming elections, and stresses that the consequences for the region as a whole could be disastrous;

2.      Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all those arrested for exercising their democratic rights;

3.      Supports the call made by the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Reine Alapini-Gansou, for an investigation to be launched, under the aegis of the UN and the AU, into the possible existence of training camps for young Burundians in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo; calls for an investigation into the extra-judicial executions which have been reported over the last few years by national and international NGOs;

4.      Calls for a thorough investigation to determine whether CNDD-FDD militia groups have been fighting alongside the police and armed forces and whether they have been colluding with the Rwandan FDLR;

5.      Urges the Burundian Government to put a stop to the violence, engage in real political dialogue on the most burning national issues and abolish the laws that restrict freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, in order to create the conditions required for real democracy; emphasises that, if these aims are to be achieved, the radio stations which were closed down and dismantled in April 2015 must be allowed to reopen so that all Burundians can stay informed about developments in their country;

6.      Backs the call for an immediate resumption of dialogue made by the AU, the UN, the East African Community and The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); supports the African Union Peace and Security Council’s resolutions calling for the election date to be fixed by consensus between the political parties and for militia groups to be disarmed as soon as possible;

7.      Stresses that the elections which took place on 29 June 2015 were illegitimate; backs calls for these elections to be declared null and void; takes the view that it is not the right time for presidential elections to take place, and stresses that they should be postponed until the tension has died down and the rule of law has been restored in Burundi;

8.      Takes the view that the current crisis can be resolved only by means of national and regional political dialogue and must not, under any circumstances, serve as a pretext for further military intervention in the region;

9.      Expresses serious concern at the economic and social situation of all groups living in Burundi, in particular refugees and displaced persons, whose number will continue to grow as a result of the country’s internal instability and tensions in neighbouring countries;

10.    Is particularly concerned at discrimination against homosexuals and the criminalisation of homosexuality in Burundi; points out once again that sexual orientation and gender identity form part of a person’s right to a private life, which is enshrined in international human rights law, under which the principles of equality and non-discrimination must be upheld and freedom of expression guaranteed; calls, therefore, on the National Assembly and Government of Burundi to abolish the articles in the penal code which discriminate against LGBTI people;

11.    Calls on the EU and the Member States to release the funds needed to address the humanitarian crisis in the Great Lakes Region and to work closely with UN bodies, in particular in efforts to tackle chronic malnutrition;

12.    Takes the view that the Burundi crisis can be resolved only by giving all citizens equal rights, resolving disputes over fertile farmland, tackling unemployment and poverty, fighting corruption, poverty, inequality and discrimination and promoting social, political and economic reforms to create a free, democratic and stable state;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of Burundi, the institutions of the African Union and of ECOWAS, the United Nations Secretary-General, the United Nations General Assembly, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan-African Parliament.

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