Motion for a resolution - B8-1348/2015Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Burundi

9.12.2015 - (2015/2973(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Mark Demesmaeker, Raffaele Fitto, Notis Marias on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-1348/2015

Procedure : 2015/2973(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Burundi


The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Burundi, in particular those of 18 September 2014[1], 12 February 2015[2] and 9 July 2015[3],

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement,

–  having regard to the declaration of 5 November 2015 by the spokesperson for the European External Action Service on the situation in Burundi,

–  having regard to the statement of 25 November 2015 by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Burundi,

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

A.  whereas at least 240 people have been killed since President Pierre Nkurunziza launched a controversial bid to prolong his term in office last April and more than 210 000 people have fled the country since then;

B.  whereas the situation in Burundi has deteriorated dangerously in recent weeks and the security forces continue to disrespect the human rights of Burundians, amid a general climate of impunity;

C.  whereas the UN Special Rapporteurs stated on 13 November 2015 that the situation in Burundi continues to deteriorate, with daily reports of serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, attacks on independent media and harassment and killings of human rights defenders, as well as unjustified limitations on the freedoms of peaceful assembly and expression, added to the fact that more than 200 000 people have been displaced by the violence;

D.  whereas UN Security Council Resolution 2248, adopted unanimously on 12 November 2015, urges the Government of Burundi to respect, protect and guarantee all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and to cooperate with the mediation efforts led by the East African Community (EAC) and endorsed by the AU to enable the immediate convening of an inclusive and genuine inter-Burundian dialogue involving all peaceful stakeholders concerned, both those within Burundi and those outside the country, in order to find a consensual and nationally owned solution to the current crisis;

E.  whereas UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and EU High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini pledged in a joint statement on 12 November 2015 to work closely together and to mobilise all means and instruments to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in Burundi, and agreed on the urgent need to convene a meeting of Burundian government and opposition representatives in Addis Ababa, or in Kampala chaired by Uganda’s President Museveni;

F.  whereas the Burundian Government has suspended ten civil society groups which played a leading role in the protests against President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term of office and are headed by prominent civil rights defenders who fled into exile after their bank accounts had been frozen;

G.  whereas ethnic hate speech is emerging and is reminiscent of the atrocities that happened in Rwanda;

H.  whereas respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law is an essential element of the relationship between the EU and Burundi, which is governed by the Cotonou Agreement, and whereas the EU has requested the opening of consultations under Article 96 of the agreement;

I.  whereas the EU and the USA have imposed sanctions on certain Burundian officials considered to be a threat to peace and security in Burundi, to be undermining democratic processes, or to be responsible for or complicit in human rights abuses and alleged atrocities; whereas in its Resolution 2248 (2015) the UN Security Council expresses its intention to consider additional measures against all Burundian actors whose actions and statements contribute to the perpetuation of violence and impede the search for a peaceful solution;

J.  whereas the health and shelter outlook for Burundian refugees in Tanzania is poised to deteriorate in already overstretched camps, as the onset of the Tanzanian rainy season has already led to an increase in refugees contracting malaria and water-borne enteric diseases, and this situation will only worsen as areas are flooded and tents and toilets are damaged by the heavy rains;

1.  Expresses its deep concern at the rise in human rights abuses and violence in Burundi, the widening divisions and lack of dialogue among Burundian stakeholders, and the threat of a regional crisis;

2.  Calls on all parties in Burundi to stop the spiral of violence;

3.  Urges the Burundian Government to fully cooperate with the mediation efforts led by the EAC in order to achieve a lasting political solution through a credible and inclusive inter-Burundian dialogue based on the principles of the Arusha peace agreement, and to restore a peaceful and secure environment to encourage the return of refugees;

4.  Welcomes the decision by the African Union Peace and Security Council to launch an in-depth investigation into the violations of human rights and other abuses against civilians in Burundi and to deploy additional human rights observers and military experts;

5.  Recalls that Burundi is a State Party to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and has taken on the obligation to fight impunity for crimes falling within its jurisdiction, and, on the basis of the ICC’s jurisdiction over those who commit or incite acts of mass violence, calls on the ICC Prosecutor to closely monitor the situation in Burundi;

6.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to partly suspend and to reorientate their development aid for Burundi;

7.  Reminds the Commission and the Member States that aid funds for Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries need to be released faster in order to prevent disease outbreaks;

8.  Urges the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, to intervene for the immediate release of Richard Spiros Hagabimana, a police officer in Burundi of Greek origin who has been illegally imprisoned and tortured because as a policeman he refused to shoot at a crowd on 28 July 2015;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Government of Burundi and the governments of the countries of the Great Lakes region, the governments of the East African Community, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, the African Union, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Pan African Parliament.