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ICC Launches Probe into Burundi Political Crisis :: Uganda Radionetwork
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ICC Launches Probe into Burundi Political Crisis

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says her office has reviewed a number of communications and reports detailing acts of killing, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as cases of enforced disappearances in Burundi over the last one year.

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The International Criminal Court has opened preliminary examinations into the political crisis in Burundi, the court's Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says. 

The decision comes on the backdrop of reports that more than 430 persons have lost lives, at least 3,400 people arrested and over 260,000 Burundians forced to seek refuge in neighboring countries since April last year, when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched his bid for a third term in office and won a disputed poll in July.

Bensouda says her office has reviewed a number of communications and reports detailing acts of killing, imprisonment, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, as well as cases of enforced disappearances in Burundi over the last one year.

She says the court is engaging the Burundian authorities with a view to discussing and assessing relevant investigations and prosecutions at the national level.

“Since April 2015, I have closely followed the situation in Burundi and repeatedly called upon all involved to refrain from violence, warning that those alleged to be committing crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court could be held individually accountable,” Bensouda said in a declaration made this afternoon.

//Cue in; “My Office….

Cue out….. At the national level.”//

The examination involves studying all information available in order to establish a sufficient, factual and legal basis to proceed with an investigation in line with the criteria established by the Rome Statute. Under article 53(1) of the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor must consider issues of jurisdiction, admissibility and the interests of justice in making this determination. 

Burundi is a State Party to the Rome Statute, and as such, the ICC has jurisdiction over genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory or by nationals of Burundi since 1 December 2004, the date when the Statute entered into force in Burundi.

The Office of the Prosecutor has previously conducted investigations in: Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Darfur, Sudan, the Central African, Kenya, Libya, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Georgia among other countries.

The investigations have resulted into indictment and prosecution of persons involved in of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

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