Burundi, long in tense dialogue with the International Criminal Court, now declares non-cooperation with an ICC investigation of alleged crimes.
BUJUMBURA, BURUNDI — Burundi, the first country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), has recently declared its intent not to cooperate with the Court’s ongoing investigation of reported crimes. Of concern are those committed from 2015 through to the present period, during the country’s descent into relative political disarray, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his run for a third term in office and eventually won elections boycotted by the opposition. According to estimates, “at least 1 200 people were allegedly killed, thousands illegally detained, thousands reportedly tortured and hundreds disappeared,” the ICC judges said.
Burundi had, in late October 2017, become the only one of three African nations to proceed with and complete its official withdrawal from the ICC (Gambia and South Africa had reversed its withdrawal decisions). Meanwhile, the ICC’s judges had given approval for a full probe into all alleged atrocities in Burundi from April 26, 2015 to October 26, 2017 — the day before the country’s exit from the court. The Court had kept that decision under wraps till this week. Hence the Burundi government’s unqualified vow to not cooperate with any investigation.
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