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Entschließungsantrag - B8-0469/2017Entschließungsantrag
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4.7.2017 - (2017/2756(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Maria Arena on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0465/2017

Verfahren : 2017/2756(RSP)
Werdegang im Plenum
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European Parliament resolution on Burundi


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Burundi, notably those of 9 July 2016, 17 December 2016 and 18 January 2017,


-having regard to the statements by High Representative Mogherini of 28 May 2015, 19 December 2015 and 21 October 2016

-having regard to the statement of the UN Security Council of 9 March 2017,


-having regard to the resolution of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 4 November2016 on the human rights situation in the Republic of Burundi,


-having regard to the declaration on Burundi by the East African Community (EAC) summit of 31 May 2015,

-having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

-having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

-having regard to the Cotonou Agreement, in particular Article 96 thereof,

-having regard to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981,

-having regard to the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi,

-having regard to the Constitution of Burundi,

-having regard to Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/1763 and 2016/1745 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Burundi,

-having regard to Rule 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,


A.  whereas Article 96 of the Constitution of Burundi and Article 7.3 of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement establishes a two-term presidential limit; whereas President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April 2015 he was running for a third term in violation of the country’s constitution;


B.  whereas the resulting political turmoil in the country led to widespread protests, violence, and a failed military coup; whereas according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) some 127 000 people have fled Burundi;


C.  whereas NGOs have reported widespread human rights abuses including serious crimes committed by government forces including murder, abduction, forced disappearance, torture, rape and large-scale detention;


D.  whereas the police used excessive force to crackdown on peaceful protesters, resulting in further violence and loss of life; whereas widespread violence and intimidation by the militia CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Defence of Democracy) and its youth militia (the Imbonerakure) has been reported;


E.  whereas media freedom and NGO freedom has been severely restricted; whereas journalists have faced forced disappearance, threats or attacks; whereas Reporters Sans Frontieres ranks Burundi 156th out of 180 in its 2016 World Press Freedom Index;


F.  whereas the presidential election of 2015 was boycotted by opposition parties and civil society citing intimidation and actions by the ruling party to reduce the inclusivity of the electoral process; whereas the EU suspended its Election Observation Mission in May 2015 due to lack of conditions for a free and fair election; whereas the UN withdrew its Electoral Observation Mission due to lack of minimal conditions;


G.  whereas on 8 December 2015 the EU began consultations with the government of Burundi under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement, in the presence of representatives of the ACP Group of States, the African Union (AU), the East African Community (EAC) and the UN; whereas in March 2016 the consultations were concluded without sufficient commitments to address EU concerns;


H.  whereas, as a result of the failure to reach a mutually agreed conclusion to consultations under the Cotonou Agreement, the EU set out specific measures to be taken by the government of Burundi in order to resume full cooperation;


I.  whereas the EU suspended direct financial support to the Burundian administration including budget support; whereas the EU committed to maintaining financial support to the population and humanitarian assistance including projects aiming to ensure access to basic services;


J.  whereas in October 2015 the EU imposed a targeted asset freeze and travel restrictions on 4 individuals for undermining democracy or obstructing efforts to achieve a political solution to the crisis; whereas the measures were extended to continue until 31 October 2017;


K.  whereas in February 2017 international and Burundian NGOs wrote to the UN Security Council to urge targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations in Burundi;


L.  whereas corruption in the judicial system of Burundi is perpetuating a culture of impunity which has prevented many perpetuators of deadly violence, including many in the police and intelligence services, from being brought to justice;


M.  whereas Burundi took formal steps in October 2016 to withdraw from the Rome Statute, thereby indicating its intention to disassociate from the International Criminal Court following the decision of the ICC to open a preliminary investigation into human rights abuses in the country;


N.  whereas the EAC has been tasked by the AU with the approval of the UN Security Council to help Burundi in the settlement of the current crisis;


1.  Expresses its deep concern at the political and security situation in Burundi; strongly condemns the ongoing violence, killings, sexual violence, and human rights abuses;


2.  Commends the efforts of neighbouring countries to accommodate refugees fleeing Burundi; Recalls the responsibility of the AU to increase its efforts in order to put an end to the crisis as soon as possible;


3.  Recalls the obligations of the government of Burundi to protect and promote the fundamental rights of its citizens; calls on Burundi to resume cooperation with the AU observation mission, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights and to comply with its international human rights obligations;


4.  Urges all parties to contribute to deescalating violence, rebuilding trust and national unity, and to re-establishing democracy in full respect of the national constitution and international commitments, with full participation from the government, opposition parties and civil society;


5. Reaffirms the important role for civil society, human rights activists and freedom of expression in a democratic society; expresses concern at the tighter restrictions on NGOs; calls on Burundi to re-open the media immediately;


6. Regrets the lack of conditions for a free and fair presidential election in 2015 which led to international actors including the EU to withdraw from election observation mission;


7. Regrets the conclusion without resolution of the consultations between the EU and Burundi under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement; urges the EU and Burundi to maintain dialogue in order to encourage progress on fulfilling the conditions established by the EU;

8. Notes that in accordance with Article 96 of Cotonou, as long as a sustainable and political solution is not found in Burundi, economic relations cannot be upgraded and therefore it will be impossible for the EAC EPA to enter into force.

9.  Supports the decision of the Council to suspend direct financial support to the Burundian administration; emphasises the EU is maintaining full financial support for the people of Burundi including humanitarian support provided through direct channels;


10. Welcomes the travel ban and asset freeze enacted by the EU against 4 individuals responsible for human rights violations and obstructing efforts to reach a solution to the crisis; calls for targeted sanctions to be extended to other individuals if needed;


11. Expresses deep concern at the levels of impunity in Burundi, particularly for individuals in the police and judiciary; deeply regrets the notice of withdrawal submitted by Burundi to the ICC; recalls that the ICC is a vital institution for citizens in achieving justice; calls on the government of Burundi to rescind its withdrawal notice and continue to engage fully;


12. Welcomes the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Burundi established in 2016; calls on the Burundi authorities to cooperate fully;


13. Expresses serious concern that the current political instability is in danger of fragmenting further along ethnic lines; urges all parties to fully respect the Arusha Agreement and act quickly to deescalate tensions and violence;

14. Notes the situation in Burundi has a significant impact on the region; recalls in this regard the importance of a lasting solution led by the EAC and endorsed by the AU with the commitment and cooperation of the Burundian authorities; welcomes the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council authorising the deployment of an African Prevention and Protection Mission in Burundi to pave the way for a political solution;


15. Considers that any normalisation of relations between Burundi and the EU, including those with Member States, is subject to the implementation by the Burundian authorities of all provisions of the “schedule of commitments” in the consultations foreseen in Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement;


16. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the European Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, the ACP-EU Council, the East African Community and the governments of its member states, the institutions of the African Union and the Government and Parliament of Burundi.