Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | Chairperson of the East African Community (EAC) President Yoweri Museveni and visiting Tanzania President John Magufuli have urged caution before any action is taken against Burundi.
On Thursday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) revealed that its judges had given the go-ahead for a full investigation into crimes allegedly committed in Burundi from April 26, 2015, to October 26, 2017, which is the day before the country’s exit from the court.
The prosecutor can also widen the probe to acts committed both before and after those dates “if certain legal requirements are met”, and even investigate other atrocities such as suspected “genocide or war crimes,” under the decision.
Speaking in Masaka, Presidents Museveni and Magufuli said the region’s leaders should be consulted before any action is taken on Burundi.
“What we want is peace in Burundi. We should stop these unilateral actions without consultations. Why don’t they consult us? These are our people and we have more information about the Burundi crisis,” Museveni said.
.@KagutaMuseveni and @MagufuliJP condemn International Criminal Court (ICC) judges’ decision to open investigations in Burundi. This was during a joint address at Golf Lane Hotel in Masaka this morning @ICC @BdiPresidence @FrankTumwebazek pic.twitter.com/7xqcWOVteQ
— Nabusayi L. Wamboka (@lindahNabusayi) November 11, 2017
President Magufuli remarked that “the situation in Burundi is not critical because the refugees have started returning home. This process will actually disturb the stability of Burundi instead of making it in the proper way.”
Magufuli has been on a state visit to Uganda where he launched a One Stop Border Post and laid the foundation stone in Hoima, the starting point for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline to Tanga.
Burundi says it will ‘never’ collaborate with ICC probe
On Friday, Burundi slapped away any idea that it would help the International Criminal Court’s probe into alleged crimes committed after the country spiralled into political turmoil in 2015.
“Burundi rejects this decision from the very outset,” said Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana, a day after The Hague-based court announced the investigation..
Burundi withdrew from the ICC on October 27 — claiming it was biased against Africa — “and was not notified of the ICC’s decision to investigate Burundi before its effective departure,” she said.
As a result, “it is not bound by this decision,” the minister said in a statement read to the press in Bujumbura, the capital.