While acknowledging that all lives are equal before God and the law, we note with great concern that this is a continuation in a long line of assassinations of high-profile and ordinary citizens of Burundi, as well as the continued deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian situation in the country. We regret that most of these assassinations remain unresolved, as there have been no visible investigations, and, more importantly, no prosecution, hence, no conviction of those found to have perpetrated the assassinations. We do not believe that these are random acts of crime by various, un-related actors. We are further perturbed that this continues to affect the rest of the EAC, in terms of refugee outflows and also lost opportunities for joint economic and social growth and development.
As civil society from Burundi and across the region, we knew and worked with Hon. Hafsa Mossi, in her previous capacity as Minister for East African Community Affairs for the Republic of Burundi; and in her latter capacity as Member of the Assembly. We appreciated her for keeping her doors open to us, and for always constructively engaging us. She brought quiet grace, compassion, wisdom and openness to her work. Indeed, we, the citizenry, looked upon her as one of a group of knowledgeable, skilled and experienced women leaders who would continue to rise to higher levels of leadership and public service in her country, our region and our continent. It is very regrettable that selfish assassins’ bullets have dashed these hopes and aspirations. We believe that Burundi, the EAC and Africa at large owe it to Hon. Mossi and her legacy to recommit and rededicate themselves to the pursuit of sustainable peace, democracy, good governance and development in Burundi, and in the region.
We are aware that the Assembly will hold a special session in honour of their slain colleague, on Thursday 21st July 2016. We assure you that representatives of civil society will be present and participate in commiserating with you, and with the people of Burundi and the Community.
We strongly hope that the Assembly will take this sad and solemn occasion to: -
- Celebrate the life and service of the late Hon. Hafsa Mossi, MP
- Condemn her brutal assassination, as well as those of other high-profile Burundians and Burundians from all walks of life
- Take appropriate measures for independent investigation and/ or inquiry into the assassinations of the late Hon. Hafsa Mossi, MP, other high-profile Burundians and possibly all the other victims for report to the Assembly
- Revisit the process initiated by the Citizen’s Petition to the Assembly, the subsequent public Hearings, the Report to the EAC Summit, and deliberate on the appropriate followup measures by the Assembly itself, and by other organs and institutions of the EAC.
We assure you, Honourable Speaker, of our highest consideration at all times.
Chief Executive Officer - Pan African Lawyers’ Union (PALU)
On behalf of the following organizations, who have all endorsed this Letter: -
- Atrocities Watch Africa (AWA)
- Coalition de la Société Civile pour le Monitoring Electoral (COSOME)
- East African Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF)
- East Africa Law Society (EALS)
- Forum pour le Renforcement de la Société Civile au Burundi (FORSC)
- Kituo cha Katiba (KcK – The East African Centre for Constitutional Development)
- Mouvement des Femmes et des Filles pour la Paix et la Sécurité au Burundi (MFFPS – The Burundi Women and Girls’ Movement for Peace)
- Pan African Lawyers’ Union (PALU)
- Réseau des Citoyens Probes (RCP)