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Burundi agrees to UN tribunal for war crimes during civil war

[JURIST] The government of Burundi [JURIST news archive] and the United Nations (UN) [official website] agreed Wednesday to establish a tribunal to try those accused of war crimes during the nation's 12-year civil war [Wikipedia backgrounder], according to the UN. Burundi has also agreed to create a truth and reconciliation commission. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour [official profile] said the government has agreed not to give amnesty for serious violations, including genocide and crimes against humanity. The tribunal and commission will be created based on the recommendations of a nine-member panel, which will include three members each from the Burundian government, civil rights groups and the UN.

The internal clash between the Hutu majority and the dominant Tutsi minority began in 1993 and claimed more than 300,000 victims. Former allies of current Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza [Wikipedia profile], an ex-Hutu rebel leader, may be implicated during the reconciliation process. Nkurunziza was elected in 2005 after the implementation of a UN-created peace plan, but his presidency has been marred by accusations of assassinations and torture [JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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