Mohammed Ben Salem / Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions - Progress report on Rwanda and Burundi




The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions several months ago began to prepare his report on Rwanda and Burundi.

His work consisted, first, of the presentation of his mandate to potential partners. Each time it was possible, whether at the Lisbon Forum or the Congress of the UIDH in Dakar, the mission, the mandate of the Special Rapporteur was conveyed to all NGOs present and they were asked to support, above all with information, the work of the Special Rapporteur. Next, correspondence was initiated with Amnesty, the UIDH, and RADDHO. Amnesty sent two reports in August 1996 (index AI: AFR 47/13/96- index AI : AFR 16/21/96), the two other organisation promised a close collaboration with the Special Rapporteur. In the meanwhile, contacts and meetings were organised the Rwandan refugees in Brussels, Abidjan, Bukavu (Zaire) and Dakar.

The following represented Rwanda:

  • the government of Rwanda in exile (Ministry of Justice)
  • the community of Rwandan refugees in Central Africa
  • the Forces of Resistance for Democracy
  • the Assembly for the return of refugees and Democracy in Rwanda
  • the Association "Justice and Peace" for Reconciliation in Rwanda (AJPR)

For Burundi: 

  • representatives of the Giheta commune, Province Gitaga
  • Parti Sahwanga Frodebu, Front pour la Démocratie au Burundi
  • M. Norbert NDIHOKUBWAYO, Deputy of the National Assembly of Burundi (dissolved after the coup d'état of 25//96).

Lists of names of several dozen individuals extra judicially executed were submitted to the attention of the Special Rapporteur of which was simultaneously also addressed to the Prosecutor General of the Criminal Court for Rwanda. It must be recognised, as a preliminary matter, that these lists were provided, for Rwanda as well as for Burundi, by one of the two parties to the conflict. This does not detract from the gravity of the facts, but it is imperative that the inquiries into these executions be made with the greatest seriousness.

In order to do so, the Special Rapporteur has suggested that the Secretariat enter quickly into contact with the head of the Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda with the goal of informing it of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and inviting it to enter into a close cooperation. In the second place, the Special Rapporteur has proposed a joint meeting with the ICJ, Amnesty, the UIDH and RADDHO in order to list the cases of executions in the context of the mandate. This action will permit the seizure of the government of Rwanda (and secondarily, Zaire) with the cases of extrajudicial executions thus catalogued and to organise, if need be, a mission to these two countries.