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UN begins Burundi talks to set up reconciliation commission, war crimes court

[JURIST] A UN delegation led by Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Nicolas Michel [official profile] arrived in the south African nation of Burundi Monday to help establish a truth and reconciliation commission [BBC report] and war crimes court. According to Michel, the 5-member group will facilitate negotiations between local transition government leaders on the "necessary juridical framework" to establish the commission and special court, which will investigate allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity. Opposing political factions in the country agreed [JURIST report] to the formation of the court and commission last June in order to shed light on prevalent violence between local Hutus and Tutsis that has crippled Burundi following its 12-year civil war [Global Security backgrounder].

Burundi government spokesperson Ramadhan Karenga said Monday that the UN 5-day visit will address "legal and regulatory [issues], the competences, structures composition of the commission and the special chamber, and links between both mechanisms and the calendar of their setting up as provided by UN Resolution 1606(2005) [PDF text] of the UN Security Council." IRIN News has more.

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