Burundi: the president of the CNIDH renewed, activists in hope

Burundi: the president of the CNIDH renewed, activists in hope

Sixte Vigny Nimuraba was reappointed to the presidency of the CNIDH (National Independent Human Rights Commission) for a four-year term. Mr. Nimuraba promised various consultations for the respect of everybody’s rights in Burundi. Ligue Iteka, the oldest human rights organization in Burundi, says it has confidence in him. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

It was the National Assembly of Burundi that approved the renewal of Sixte Vigny Nimuraba. Also reappointed for a four-year term were Jacques Nshimirimana, member of the commission, and Consolatte Hitimana, secretary who until now was vice-president of the CNIDH. Anaclet Nzohabonayo is vice-president of the commission as Anésie Mfatiyimana entered the human rights commission in Burundi as a member. The new vice-president is also new.

The reappointed president was approved 100% or 116 votes out of 116 votes, which testifies that people have confidence in the work of the commission, according to the concerned.

“[…] This inspires me to increase activities and initiatives in the protection of human rights but also to continue to promote collaboration with other state institutions and other organizations working in the field of human rights in Burundi’, Sixte Vigny Nimuraba confided to local media journalists after the session which approved him.

For Mr. Nimuraba, “even if it is a single individual whose rights are violated, it is already too much”.

SOS Médias Burundi wanted to know what human rights activists think of this renewal. The majority was unavailable to react. But the president of the oldest human rights organization in Burundi has spoken. Anschaire Nikoyagize evokes a feeling of joy and satisfaction.

“At the Iteka League we welcome this renewal of Dr. Sixte Vigny Nimuraba because he marked a difference compared to the one he replaced. His mandate is very different from that of his predecessor”, said Mr. Nikoyagize.

“He has already approached human rights organizations in exile, including the Iteka League. We have already had a (virtual) meeting. So his commitment, his objective of consulting everyone, I think that he will make it , we have confidence”.

And to bear him more and more witness.

“You remember that he was intimidated by the President of the National Assembly many times. This shows that he is at least working, he is doing what the government in place and the parliament want to hide from the national and international community. It’s true his reports are not exhaustive when they have the means…but he works in such difficult conditions because there is intimidation from these generals – these people who do not want to advance the human rights sector”.

In all, 46 people had submitted their application but only 15 were selected to appear in the lower house of parliament on Monday. Five places were available. They were 9 Hutus and 6 Tutsis. Three members of the office were approved including a Tutsi and two commissioners including a Tutsi as well. This, according to the law governing the CNIDH of January 2011.

The names of the persons admitted by the deputies will be sent to the Head of State who must appoint them in turn by decree.

Sixte Vigny Nimuraba, who was reappointed to the presidency of the CNIDH, fought to have it reaccredited to A status. The United Nations Human Rights Council did so in June 2021 and the CNIDH has regained its A status.

The Burundian public body had been demoted in 2018 due to the lack of independence in the face of serious human rights violations. The UN believes that a step has already been taken in the right direction.

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