Burundi: International Assistance

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the UN Human Rights Council Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, published in September, suggesting that Burundi is at risk of a genocide; what assessment they have made of whether the risk factors as outlined in that Report match the criteria identified by the Genocide Prevention Committee as predictors of genocide; and what steps they are taking, with international partners, to prevent such an outcome.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

We remain extremely concerned by the ongoing political challenges and human rights situation in Burundi, and its humanitarian consequences. An inclusive dialogue led by the region remains one of the only viable options to resolve the ongoing political crisis and we encourage the region to engage fully in this process. We repeatedly raise our concerns with the Government of Burundi and at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Security Council to keep the international spotlight focused on resolving the crisis. The UK wants genuine dialogue with Burundi once it has taken demonstrable steps to improve human rights, and to make progress towards stability.

We are concerned by the findings of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi that Burundi is at risk of atrocities. We continue to look to the UN and in particular the Commission of Inquiry, to assess whether the criteria as stipulated in the 1948 Convention on the prevention and Punishment of Genocide is at risk of being met. The UK International Ambassador for Human Rights, in her statement at the 42nd UN Human Rights Council on 17 September, welcomed the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi and urged the Government of Burundi to fulfil its obligation to protect human rights and to hold perpetrators to account.

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