Burundi: President Neva reassures alleged perpetrators of crimes wanted by the ICC

Burundi: President Neva reassures alleged perpetrators of crimes wanted by the ICC

Burundian President Évariste Ndayishimiye hosted his usual end-of-year public conference. He came back to current questions. Among which, the recent statements of the ICC (International Criminal Court) which indicated that it wanted to prosecute “presumed perpetrators of crimes” that were committed in the small East African nation in 2015. “We have jurisdictions competent to judge the perpetrators of crimes”, he said. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

At the end of each year, the Burundian president speaks to the media and citizens. Several inhabitants had gone to Kirundo (northern Burundi) to tell him about the injustices of which they are victims and journalists to ask him questions. For more than three hours, the Burundian president listened and gave answers on Friday, December 30.

“For the question concerning the ICC, I would like to be clear : everything is governed by laws. When Burundi was still a member of this Court, it was there because there were conventions that it had signed. Each country can withdraw from these conventions either by denunciation or simple withdrawal because by adhering to them, we also do so without constraint. As Burundi has withdrawn from these conventions, if they want to do something, they will have to show on what legal basis they are doing it. Burundi is no longer part of the ICC and what happens there no longer concerns us”, President Neva told a local media journalist.

And he reassured, “Burundi is no longer the same. In the past, a person could perpetrate a crime and remain free. But today, all perpetrators of crimes are punished. Even Burundians who hide in other countries, we continue to ask these countries to extradite them so that they can be tried in Burundi. These international bodies cannot act on behalf of Burundi while we have competent jurisdictions”.

President Neva affirms that if a Burundian were to be arrested on the soil of any country, “it would be a problem between this country and Burundi and not between Burundi and the ICC”.

“We too, if we arrest a citizen of another country, it has the right to claim them from us. I think that if there is a Burundian accused of such and such a crime, it is up to Burundi to judge him”, decided the one who dismissed his spokesperson the same day, who had become unmanageable, according to several sources within the presidency.

Since October 27, 2017, Burundi is no longer part of the Rome Statute establishing the ICC.

But recently, this Court announced that the investigations on Burundi are well underway and that they are almost at their end. The next step is to issue international arrest warrants for the alleged perpetrators.

This, five years after the start of the actual investigations into crimes allegedly perpetrated in Burundi during the political crisis of 2015, a crisis triggered by another controversial term of the late President Pierre Nkurunziza.

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