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ICC Authorised To Prosecute President Nkurunziza

3 Min Read

President Pierre Nkurunziza of neighbouring Burundi may be just minutes or days away from officially becoming a candidate for the prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Taarifa has reliably learnt.

Latest reports indicate that the ICC has been authorized to initiate prosecution of the defiant President Nkurunziza who has presided over a government that subjects its people to dreadful acts of terror.

More than 325,677 Burundians fled terror seeking refugee in neighbouring countries since 2015.

This green light to prosecute the Burundi leader follows the August 2017 UN Commission of Inquiry report findings.

It is indicated in the report that the inquiry found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed since April 2015 by members of Burundi’s national intelligence service, the police, the military and the Imbonerakure militia.

The chronology of events in Burundi is well documented in this Inquiry report right from 21st October 1993 when the civil war began led by the CNDD-FDD rebel movement. This war was sparked by the assassination of Burundi President, Melchior Ndadaye.

Later in 2005, Pierre Nkurunziza the leader of CNDD-FDD rebel movement was elected as President in adherence to the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi setting up a power-sharing system between the warring factions.

Nkurunziza sought re-election in 2010 on June 28th until he completed a five year term making a total of two terms worth 10 years and this would be non-renewable subject to the constitutional provision.

However, the ruling party CNDD-FDD announced that President Nkurunziza would be their candidate for the 2015 presidential elections and this triggered countrywide demonstrations and the state was paralysed.

Demonstrators argued that Nkurunziza’s return for third term was unconstitutional and in violation of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.

Nkurunziza a teacher turned politician didn’t bow to pressure from demonstrators. The Burundi constitutional court in May 2015 validated Nkurunziza’s candidacy- ruling that there was no violation of the law.

On May 13th 2015 while President Nkurunziza was out of the country, a group of senior military and police officers led by former head of the National Intelligence Service SNR, Maj. Gen. Godefroid Niyombare overthrew Nkurunziza in a bloody coup but was reversed.

Later in July, Nkurunziza was re-elected with 69% of the vote and earlier in June his party had won 77 of the 100 parliamentary seats.

With this state of affairs, several people were killed including the assassination of the former head of the SNR, General Adolphe Nshimirimana.

Since Burundi was a signatory to the Rome Statute UN Security Council Resolution 2248 condemned the violations and abuses of human rights and agreed on additional measures against all Burundians who contribute to the perpetuation of violence.